In late 2020 a restoration assessment was completed by Natural Bushland Ecology. The report found the site to have a high potential for restoration. Successful regeneration works will provide opportunities for local plant species to expand and enhance the overall vegetation and aquatic health of the Bremer River system. The importance of the site to the environmental values of the region is clear and the Tiger Street River Action Group is committed to restoring and protecting these values.
The projected restoration site covers three land parcels and is further complicated by the plans for a heavy rail corridor and possible road expansion. We will work to ensure this site is not impacted adversely by these developments and believe the local community will support our goal.
Ecological values identified at the site included:
- Regrowth example 12.3.7 Riverine wetland or fringing riverine wetland (Eucalyptus tereticornis, Casuarina cunninghamiana, Melaleuca spp.) and 12.3.3 Floodplain (Eucalyptus tereticornis woodland on Quaternary alluvium).
- 69 identified flora species (28 native species, 41 environmental weed species). (environmental weed species are classified as non-local plant species existing within the ‘environment’).
- Sections of high-value native regrowth vegetation in western areas with native species occupying and dominating all strata.
- Areas of moderate habitat availability and general variability for local wildlife across the site.
- Mixed native/exotic vegetative cover that supports wildlife habitat (flora & fauna) and water filtration values.
- Scattered numerous mixed-mature canopy trees providing high-value shelter & food resources for local wildlife.
- Stand of mature exotic canopy trees (Celtis sinensis) currently mitigating large-scale further gully erosion from stormwater runoff in central areas.
- Evident suitable & occupied habitat for transient Eastern Grey Kangaroo population (identified on site visit).
- Vegetated waterways and drainage lines contributing to local water quality levels and the overall health of the Bremer River.
- Bremer River frontage with sandstone outcrops, deep water and expanses to the south and west reaches.
- Evident ‘diggings’ & ‘scratchings’ across the site from ground-dwelling mammals and local reptile species.
- Several identified tree hollows providing potential nesting roosts for local parrots, nocturnal raptors & arboreal mammals.
- Steep upper slopes in the west protecting patches of regrowth Dry Sclerophyll Forest and Open Woodland communities.
- Mature stand of Lomandra longifolia along actively eroding waterway providing vital habitat for local amphibians and decreasing erosion.
- Recent history of Revegetation planting program with relict numerous decade-old isolated surviving native species individuals.
- Extensive stands of Coarse Woody Debris (CWD) furthering habitat variables and nutrient cycling.
- Moderate stands of native ground stratum population associated with Open Forest Communities.
- Part of the identified Bremer River Corridor buffer zone to protect native vegetation.
- Restoration efforts would contribute to enhancing habitat variables for ENVT taxa below.
However, with 41 environmental weeds and 30 target weed species identified on site the area is fast becoming inundated. With the complete dominance by Chinese Elm (Celtis senensis) in some of the middle section and regrowth stands of isolated trees being seriously threatened by Lantana (Lantana camara), Glycine (Neonotonia wightii) , Balloon Vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum) and Panic (Megathyrsus maximus var. pubiglumis), the challenge is clearly evident.
The irony is that in some sections it is only the Chinese Elm that are holding the erosion issues at bay. Intelligent planning will be required to minimise creek destabilisation and gradually replace these trees with native alternatives. We agree a more comprehensive vegetation survey should be undertaken across the site and a detailed, site-specific Bush Regeneration Plan be developed to effectively protect and restore the site.