The Mary River in South East Queensland is perhaps most famous in recent years for being the site of a drawn out community driven campaign to stop the Traveston Crossing dam, which the Queensland Labor Government wanted to build. Ultimately this dam was stopped in 2009 by then Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett due to the impact it would have had on a suite of threatened species, some of which occur no where elsewhere else in world.
However, community concern and passion for the Mary River goes back decades, and the catchment was one of a group of catchments to trial integrated catchment management in Queensland in the early 90s. Since then, a community organisation, the Mary River Catchment Coordination Committee (MRCCC), has continued to facilitate integrated catchment management activities and thinking in our catchment.
One of the MRCCC’s recent projects has been working on the Mary River Threatened Species Recovery Plan with the Australian Government’s Department of Sustainability, Water, Population and Communities. One of the objectives of the recovery plan have been to foster greater awareness of the river and also a sense of connection to the river among members of the community. To help fulfil this objective we have just completed a project called “Inspiring community connection to Mary River stories” which lead to the production of a booklet about the species that are the focus of the recovery plan. This booklet is titled “Something about Mary” and includes a companion A3 poster depicting the habitats and characters of the Mary River.
We’ve tried to do something different with this booklet by integrating the facts about the threatened species with stories about the people of the catchment and also emphasising the habitat requirements throughout the species whole life cycle. We’d love to get your feedback on the booklet and poster. We are taking orders for hard copies of the booklet which will soon be available for $5.50 plus postage. You can also download free electronic high and low resolution versions of the booklet and poster from MRCCC’s website (www.mrccc.org.au).
Dr Tanzi Lewis, Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee