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Emerging Springs – Highlights

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Springs are emerging across the Great Artesian Basin area of Queensland, demonstrating the success of the Qld Government’s artesian bore capping and pipeline reticulation program. Aquifer levels are rising, causing new springs to establish in existing spring areas.

A cattle station in the Torrens Creek region was chosen as a focus site to develop management procedures that can be applied to emerging springs across northern Australia. Heavy infestations of rubber vine topped the list of threats, and in 2021/22, control of rubber vine became the focus of DCQ. The work has resulted in a 72% reduction in the extent of rubber vine in the project area. The removal of this water dependent weed has allowed more new springs to emerge.

Community involvement has been a priority. Field days in 2021/22 brought interested people together to forge a road into the future. Fauna and flora surveys were carried out under supervision by DCQ.

Monitoring is ongoing to identify any changes in the sites. Trampling of the new springs by livestock is another threat. DCQ developed a unique system of ‘leaky fencing’ that allowed access by native fauna, while protecting the fragile environment from hard hoofed animals.

Despite the short timeframe, this project has delivered remarkable outcomes. New techniques in weed control, springs detection and springs management being applied throughout the region. The highlight has been this emergence of new springs in this area, and with strong support from landholders, these fragile new members of our region have a bright future. And this is only the start of the journey to manage these springs and their unique habitats into the future.