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Tathra after the fire - on the ground works underway

May 2018

South East Local Land Services and the Bega Local Aboriginal Land Council (Bega LALC) Koori Work Crew is supporting the Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) to implement part of their ‘Green shoots’ bushfire recovery plan.

The recent bushfire which originated at Reedy Swamp and swept into Tathra has left the catchments immediately behind Tathra vulnerable to sediment loss if there is some heavy rain.

It is estimated that 120,000 cubic metres of soil could be lost from the catchments which would impact the Bega River, wetlands and the Tathra urban environment if nothing is done and these areas don’t recover naturally.

Straw bales and coir logs are being placed in gullies, sediment fences are being installed in vulnerable locations and fallen logs and dead trees have been placed across slopes in heavily fire impacted areas.  These works are being implemented by local contractors and the Koori Work Crew.

So far over 600 straw bales have been put in place and approximately 270 hectares of severe fire affected land has been treated. But there is still much to be done.

This work will lessen the risk of gully and sheet erosion, and landslips and will slow the movement of soil, sediment and ash from fire impacted lands into waterways, wetlands or public and community assets.

The aim of the work is to help keep soil in place as much as possible to assist with regrowth, but also to keep the soil out of the waterways which could impact the water quality which would be a cause for concern for local anglers and the tourism industry which is the backbone of the local economy.

A strong partnership between these agencies and Bega LALC has enabled important works to be implemented effectively and in a timely manner.