Help for river projectVideo

JOINT EFFORT: John Brouff, David Harris, Sureway’s Naomi Gwyn and Matt Hansen are excited by the partnership which will see some of Sureway’s clients hop on the River Repair Bus and work on areas of the Macquarie River. TO borrow a quote from a certain US president elect, let’s make the Macquarie great again.

That’s the message from the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association (IWRA), who have combined with Sureway to find an innovative way of maintaining our iconic river

Thirty local Indigenous people will soon be working “on country” along the Dubbo stretch of the Macquarie River.

As part of one of the largest work for the dole projects ever to be rolled out in the region, the participants will be working on local reserves to remove rubbish, plant native trees and eradicate invasive weeds.

A call to action over 12 months ago to address the cities’ river pollution crisis came when the Devil’s Hole Reserve was choked with rubbish after heavy rainfall, the Inland Waterways clean-up effort attracted volunteers from across the city.

That short-term fix gained great support but it was clear longer term solutions needed to be put in place, sparking the concept of a River Repair Bus,IWRAforging alliances with iCan’s James Riley and Sureway Employment and Training.

Inland Waterways funded almost $60,000 raised from the Lake Burrendong Classic fishing competition to purchase a 12-seater bus and heavy duty river repair trailer.

“This is an exciting project that has so many benefits for our local environment, and with this number of participants we will be able to block together extensive reaches of the Macquarie River, clean up the local reserves, and restore our river’s health,”Inland Waterways president Matt Hansen said.

“Those on the River Repair Bus will get a chance to learn about riparian vegetation replenishment and management, river ecology and sustainability.”

The benefits are two-fold, with the environmental aspect coupled with an optimistic future for the volunteers

“Ultimately, this project will allow the participants to hold a greater sense of ownership over a diverse part of our community, leading to very positive outcomes for all involved,”Sureway Employment and Training’s Naomi Gwyn said.

The River Repair Bus project is set to commence on November 21.

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