River Recovery Research Wins ARC Linkage Project Funding

2007 Flood in the Hunter

Macquarie University’s Professor Kirstie Fryirs and her team have been awarded $600,000 over three years under the Australian Research Council Linkage Project scheme. This funding, announced by Australian Minister for Education, the Hon. Dan Tehan MP, is augmented with $225,000 from industry. The Linkage Program promotes national and international research partnerships between researchers and business, industry, community organisations and other publicly funded research agencies.

The successful project, ‘Working with recovery: Future proofing our rivers against floods and droughts’, will look at ways that rivers in coastal NSW are recovering after 200 years of degradation. The aim is to understand just how river recovery occurs and the impact it will have on flood flows. This has practical as well as theoretical importance. The Macquarie University led project will work with industry partners, Landcare Australia and NSW Local Land Services, to provide proof of concept that river recovery is happening at the regional scale and understand the geomorphic and vegetative processes that are promoting recovery.

The project will trial new techniques and work out the best management approaches to maintain and enhance recovery into the future. It will investigate where corridors of recovery are, where to prioritise rehabilitation and the cost:benefit of working with recovery in river management practice. This will help to build further resilience into rivers – to future proof them against floods, droughts and anthropogenic disturbances while achieving positive environmental health outcomes.

Professor Fryirs says “I’m delighted that this ARC Linkage project has been funded, and I look forward to working closely with our industry partners, Landcare Australia and NSW Local Land Services in the quest to improve the health of our rivers. “

“This project is particularly timely given that floods, droughts and anthropogenic disturbances are becoming more intense, and new and novel management actions are required to ensure our rivers continue to provide the services that support the environment, society, economy and culture.”

Macquarie University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Sakkie Pretorius congratulated the University’s researchers for securing the grant.

“This collaborative project will leverage Macquarie University’s world-leading research expertise to address a pressing environmental issue facing Australia today.”

“By partnering with industry, other research organisations and landowners, this project promises to uncover innovative solutions with real-world impact.”

Source: Macquarie University