Navigating our river's problems

A REPORT into the shifting sands at the Elliott River mouth is expected within a month — but some residents doubt it will result in any action.

Long-time Elliott Heads resident Bill Murray has been involved in a fight to save the river for almost 30 years and said he was “sick of getting no support” from local government.

“The amount of time spent by not only me, but many other people, will break your heart,” Mr Murray said.

The NewsMail reported last Friday that many residents were concerned about the significant build-up of sand at the river mouth, making it dangerous for fishermen to navigate.

Mr Murray said residents had formed lobby groups to try to fix the sand build-up at the river mouth long before he moved to the area 27 years ago, but nothing had ever resulted from their efforts.

He believed the situation could be solved if the southern end of the river mouth was blocked off.

“The southern mouth used to be very deep and now you can walk across it,” Mr Murray said.

“If they blocked it up, it would make the northern mouth like a drain for all that sand.”

Mr Murray said while this plan would present danger for the swimmers, the beach could be extended at the same time, leaving no reason for swimmers to be in this risk zone.

Bundaberg Regional Council natural resources manager Nick Maclean said the results of a recent Griffith University study would help determine what course of action would be taken with the river.

“The hypothetical management options in the study included doing nothing through to the placement of groyne walls in various locations,” Mr Maclean said.

“The results of the study will provide a good insight into the likely response to these different options.”

He said the council was aware the river had changed “dramatically” over the years and channels were becoming “less navigable for boats”.

“The results of the study and subsequent computer modelling are being prepared into a report and should be available within the next month or so,” Mr Maclean said.

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