Work at an old tailings dam at Target Gully near Queensland’s historic tin mining town of Irvinebank has led to the surprise discovery of a critically endangered plant.
Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy staff have been working on site remediation with the Mbabaram Aboriginal Corporation (MAC).
During survey work, they identified hundreds of critically endangered purple wattle (pictured above), when only 500 plants had been estimated to remain in the wild.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government had committed $42 million over five years to managing public safety risks at abandoned mine sites like Target Gully.
“I am particularly excited about the Target Gully project because it has provided the opportunity to work with the local traditional owners, the Bar-Barrum people,” he said
MAC director Shelton Murphy said his board saw the Target Gully project as a step in the right direction in building confidence and future prosperity for the Bar-Barrum People.
“We have already had officers involved in the vegetation survey of the site, and look forward to discussing with the project team any ongoing opportunities for involvement in the remediation,” Mr Murphy said.
“We are also hoping any native species propagation can be a stepping stone to launching a native plant nursery enterprise that can give our people sustainable economic opportunities.
“We know these relationships are vital in building our own people’s capacity to work with government to promote, preserve and protect our country.”
Local businesses have been employed to undertake remediation work, including earthworks to re-profile the tailings, improve site drainage, backfill a tailings pond, and work to prevent further soil erosion.
Works are expected to be completed in July 2018.