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Small Gains For FOK after flood losses


The devastating floods of February and March have created huge challenges for bush regeneration contractors restoring koala habitat sites on the Wilson River at Monaltrie and Wyrallah.

Thousands of trees at riparian planting sites that were planted over three years along 9km of riverbank have been impacted with some sites completely destroyed. High-velocity floodwaters at record depths, completely altered the existing floodplain geomorphology. Areas of erosion (concave banks) are now sheer drops of twenty meters in some places making replanting and stabilisation challenging. Debris from Lismore upstream has been deposited on plantings creating an even greater risk of future erosion. Everything from pallets of sawn timber to steel shipping containers were dumped on the Andrews riparian sites at Wyrallah (see photo).

However small gains from the impact of the flood will ensure koala corridors can be reinstated to provide connectivity. Coral trees the dominant weed on these sites, have been ripped out and deposited in new locations making stem injection more manageable and effective (see photo). Large areas of sediment deposition on convex banks have created accessible areas for planting koala food trees and other endemic species to reinstate wildlife corridors.

Funding made available through the NSW Environmental Trust over four years will enable FOK to remediate these vital koala corridors and repair damaged fences to exclude stock. Funding from Lismore City Council and trees from the Dept. of Planning and Environment will value add to the project.

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