TREE PLANTER: Kelvin Wykes participated in the successful 20 Million Trees Project at Mt Etna with First Turkey up next.
TREE PLANTER: Kelvin Wykes participated in the successful 20 Million Trees Project at Mt Etna with First Turkey up next. Jodie Kurpershoek

Rockhampton Council throws support behind 6000 plant project

THE Rockhampton Regional Council has thrown its support behind the Fitzroy Basin Association's plan to restore the vegetation in the First Turkey area.

The FBA submitted an application to the Federal Government's 20 Million Trees grant program seeking funding to plant 6000 native plants, thereby converting around three hectares of environmental weeds into semi-evergreen vine thicket (which is presently listed as endangered).

Councillor Drew Wickerson said the council voted to restore the area as it desperately needed attention after being ravaged by several factors over the years.

"This is a critical project. The area is really significant, there's some remnants of quite rare vine thicket vegetation at First Turkey where we're looking at so it's very important to rehabilitate the areas lost over time," Cr Wickerson said.

"A few years ago we had a massive bushfire go through that area, feral pigs like digging around in the ground looking for their food and also the spread of weed species has had a serious impact as well.

"We have committed over $18,000 of in kind support, we're supplying 4000 of the right planet species, staff to do weed control, mulch, and other services we can provide through our parks and recreation department.''

Cr Wickerson said the work would not only be aesthetically pleasing but also vital for the ecology that lives there. "We have a responsibility to do that wherever we can," he said.

He said the proposed project would collaborate with and receive support from community groups such as Greening Australia, Capricornia Correctional Centre, Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club and community volunteers.

FBA senior project officer Shannon van Nunen said the project would replicate the hugely successful two-year revegetation project completed in June at Mt Etna National Park which attracted more than 100 community volunteers who planted more than 8000 trees.

"We are expecting to hear if we are successful or not over the next couple of months," he said.

If funding is granted, work will begin before December 1 and be completed by June 30, 2020.



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