Smoking ceremony launches plan to restore Murray River

Greening Australia senior project officers Bayden Smith and Christine Allen on the Murray River, where the logs will be installed.
Greening Australia senior project officers Bayden Smith and Christine Allen on the Murray River, where the logs will be installed.

A SMOKING ceremony helped launch a bank stabilisation project on the Murray River at George Brook Reserve in Ravenswood today.

The project is led by Greening Australia, the Shire of Murray, Syrinx Environmental, Alcoa and the local Noongar community.

Agriculture, land clearing and urban development have left the banks of the Murray a shade of their former selves and urgent action is needed to prevent further damage.

Syrinx Environmental was contracted in 2018 to compile a plan for bank stabilisation and weed control at the reserve.

To minimise undercutting of the river bank, a brush wall and matting will be used to cut back flood waters and boat wash that damage the bank.

Logs to cover the six-metre area of bank are being cut in Pinjarra today and will be installed tomorrow.

The Murray River is significant to the local Bindjareb Noongar community, which hunted and lived along it for thousands of years.

More recently, it has been altered by agriculture, urban development and land clearing.

The project is an important step towards slowing erosion along the river while cultivating collaboration between the local indigenous community and land managers.

It is also the site of a rare grevillea discovered last year and not seen in the area for more than 20 years.

The project is funded by the Alcoa Foundation and Shire of Murray as part of the Three Rivers Initiative to improve the health of the Peel-Harvey Catchment.