Overview of the BBB catchment

THIS is an overview of the characteristics of the BBB catchment relevant to the design of the Burdekin MIP (BMIP). A Synthesis Report (refer Volume V) provides more detailed information on the BBB catchment. In summary:

  • The BBB catchment covers an area of 11,718 km2, which is 8.3 per cent of the Burdekin River Basin.
  • The dominant land use is grazing (92%). Designated conservation areas, including national park and state forest, exist in the southern ridges of the Broken sub-catchment (8% of total Catchment area). There is significant open-cut mining (coal) operating in the region, particularly around the town of Collinsville.
  • There are 71 grazing properties (either located partially or fully) in the BBB catchment, of which 63 grazing enterprises are more than 2000ha, and of these, five are owned by mining companies (300,000ha) and one by the Indigenous Land Council. Two properties are owned by government (100,000ha).
  • Tenure in the catchment is dominated by leasehold land (73%), with around 16 per cent freehold land.
  • The BBB catchment sits across four regional council areas. A majority of the catchment is within the Whitsunday Regional Council area, with a small proportion of the Bogie sub-catchment in the Burdekin Shire Council area, a small area of the Little Bowen River sub-catchment within the Isaac Regional Council area, and small parts of the Broken River sub-catchment in the Mackay Regional Council area.
  • The BBB catchment includes parts of the Bowen Broken Bogie Geological basin. As at December 2015, there were four operating coal mines in the Pelican Creek and Rosella Creek sub-catchments, and one operating gold mine in the Bogie sub-catchment. There are also seven unidentified operating mines Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM), ‘Mines on line’ accessed, 2015; business.qld.gov.au/industry/mining/mining-online-services/mines-online) and 119 abandoned mines in the catchment.
  • The major population centre is Collinsville/Scottville, with an estimated population of 1,830 people (Queensland Government Statisticians Office, 2016). A sewage treatment plant (<5,000 equivalent persons) services the centre, discharging ~0.33 ML per day of treated wastewater to Pelican Creek. The public water supply is from the Bowen River Weir.
  • The BBB catchment can be divided into seven major sub-catchments including the Bogie River, Bowen River, Broken River, Glenmore Creek, Little Bowen River, Pelican Creek and Rosella Creek. Waterways vary between largely sandy, dry ephemeral creek systems to permanently flowing clearwater rivers and creeks that originate in mountain rainforest.
  • Among the BBB sub-catchments, the modelling indicates that the rate of erosion is particularly high in the Bowen River, Little Bowen, Bogie and Pelican Creek sub-catchments. The estimates for the Broken River sub-catchment are considered to be an overestimate in the model due to limitations in estimating the cover factor in forested areas (C. Dougall, pers. comm.) and should not be ranked as a priority sub-catchment for sediment management.

Scientist Andrew Brooks (left) and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries extension officer bob Shepherd during the design phase of the project

Sub-catchments in the Bowen, Bogie, Broken catchment, the area in which the Landholders Driving Change project operates

Pictured at the Cairns launch of the two Major Integrated Projects are (from left) Exevale Station graziers Darcy and Buster O’Loughlin, then Minister for the Environment Dr Steven Miles, and CEO NQ Dry Tropics Dr Scott Crawford