How has our community had input to these decisions?

    This project is implementing one of the key priority projects in the Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan 2016, which was adopted by Council after extensive community consultation, engagement and public exhibition. 

    Specifically, this project is implementing item 1.1, ‘Restore river bed and banks – instream realignment: update approved design/consent and complete north bank gravel bench corrections and south bank revetment’ listed on page 41 of the Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan.  Refer to the Plan provided in the Document Library on this website. 

    The actions and priorities in the Master Plan reflect input from the community consultation, which was extensive and involved key stakeholders such as Never Never Catchment Group and Gleniffer Community Association.  Refer to the Gleniffer Reserves Consultation Report in the Document Library on this website for details about the consultation process and outcomes.  Page 4 provides a summary of the process and responses.  Feedback submissions were received from 96 respondents including neighbouring properties to the reserves, Gleniffer residents, Bellingen Shire residents and 22 stakeholder groups.

    The decision to reschedule works from December 2017 to 2018 was made after meetings with Gleniffer Stewardship Group, which is working with Council to  implement the Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan and Never Never Catchment Group, Council’s project partner for the weed control and tree planting components of this project (instream works excluded). 

    When will other actions in the Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan be implemented?

    Actions in the Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan are prioritised as outlined in the ‘Project Staging and Priorities’ table on page 41. Refer to the Plan provided in the Document Library on this website.  No timelines are specified in this table.  Some actions have to be completed before others can commence e.g. Plans of Management.  Some projects are dependent on external funding e.g. interpretive signage. 


    Will the works disturb the river bank?

    The purpose of the works is to improve the health and condition of the riparian (river bank) zone, address the eroding river bank in Earl Preston Reserve and protect public infrastructure, including Gleniffer Hall and Promised Land Bridge.  Council has engaged the expertise of qualified arborists and NSW Soil Conservation Services to implement the project.  Arborists will lop the mature Camphor Laurel trees to stump level.  To prevent soil and river bank erosion, the roots will not be disturbed. 

    Machinery will be operating on site to construct river bank stabilisation structures and remove felled Camphor Laurel material.  Machinery access points and pathways will be minimised.  Any inherent disturbance to the river bank and soil surface will be temporary and erosion and sediment controls will be established and maintained in accordance with legislation and best practice standards. 


    Will the instream works cause more gravel to move downstream?

    The purpose of the instream works is to stabilise the bed and banks to address the eroding river bank in Earl Preston Reserve and protect public infrastructure, including Gleniffer Hall and Promised Land Bridge.  Gravel will be removed from the bar in Arthur Keough Reserve and used to construct best practice river bank stabilization structures on the opposite bank in Earl Preston Reserve. 

    Instream works include:

    1)  Gravel relocation into the flood chute along the river bank in Earl Preston Reserve.

    2)  Construction of deflector groynes using hardwood pins (i.e. posts/logs) and root balls. 

    3)  Rock revetment along the toe of the river bank between deflector groynes.

    Refer to the design provided in the Document Library on this website for more details.

    This strategy aims to:

    ·  facilitate accumulation and deposition of material to address the erosion in Earl Preston Reserve

    ·  optimise the volume of gravel 'locked up' within the project site and

    ·  allow for turbulence generated from the log deflector groynes to reinstate the river’s natural  equilibrium and processes. 

    Rivers are dynamic systems which naturally experience erosion, sediment deposition and other channel changes.  As outlined above,it is not intended or expected that the instream works will cause an increase in gravel to move downstream however, there are many other factors beyond Council’s control, which could potentially contribute to changes in gravel load, movement and deposition.


    How will Camphor Laurel Trees be removed?

    Council has engaged the expertise of qualified arborists to lop the mature Camphor Laurel trees to stump level.  To prevent soil and river bank erosion, the roots will not be disturbed.  Felled branches and trunks will be collected by machinery and piled temporarily, in the area of open space between the top of the river bank and Gleniffer Community Hall.  Machinery will also be on site for the instream works to construct river bank stabilisation structures.  Machinery access points and pathways will be minimised. 

    All mature native trees will be retained and impacts on juvenile native trees will be minimised.  Juvenile Camphor Laurel trees and seedlings will be managed during the next stage of river rehabilitation work, which will be implemented by experienced bush regenerators between February and December 2018.  Native tree planting to replace the controlled invasive plants, including the removed Camphor Laurel trees, will also be implemented in 2018.


    Why are Camphor Laurel trees being removed?

    Under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015, all plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.

    Camphor Laurel, Cinnamomum camphora, is an invasive plant, which is a threat to native vegetation and habitat.  Riparian (river bank) and wetland management is one of the top two priorities in the Bellinger River Health Plan 2010, which includes the Never Never River.  This Plan identifies invasive plant impacts as one of the key threats to riparian vegetation.

    While alternative management options are also recommended for Camphor Laurel trees, these options would result in dead trees remaining on site.  To address the public safety risk of dead trees in a public reserve used for recreation, Council is obliged to lop and remove the Camphor Laurels.


    What will Council do with the Camphor Laurel material after it has been lopped?

    Council’s project management team is currently considering a range of options for management of the Camphor Laurel material after it has been lopped, including re-use i.e. for woodwork, mulch etc.  Council will update this website as soon as a decision has been made. 

    In the interim, if you think you can assist Council with a cost-effective and practical solution, please send an email to council@bellingen.nsw.gov.au with attention to the River & Biodiversity Projects Officer or phone 6655 7300.