Ausfield Services — Building river resilience

With Townsville City Council and partners, local business Ausfield Services are deploying innovative engineering tools and ideas to bolster the Bohle’s defences.

Townsville business Ausfield Services has been providing grounds maintenance and weed management in North Queensland for over 20 years, serving the local region with landscape maintenance, vegetation and weed control, natural resource management consultation, and asset management services.

Since February 2021 with Council’s Reef Assist project, Ausfield and partner business Environmental Engineering Sales Australia, have been busy working on projects to heal and strengthen key river, creek, and coastal ecosystems in the Dry Tropics.

L. Ausfield Services working with Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare to plant trees along the Bohle River . R. Ausfield’s Shaun Styles cuts and treats pest Leucaena at Tchooratippa Ck.

In the Bohle basin, Ausfield crews have been delivering works to remove weeds and enhance soils (see Weeds to soils), plant trees, and restore streambanks to stabilise eroded waterways.

As part of a Reef Assist project in Louisa Creek, a significant watercourse within the Bohle basin, Ausfield have reshaped the bank, installed erosion control matting, and successfully re-planted a healthy buffer of riparian vegetation. This has stopped the severe erosion that was threatening nearby houses and delivering sediment downstream.

“I come from project management in mining services, so doing things in a way that represents best-practice engineering and compliance is always front-of-mind,” says Ausfield founder, Owen Blacklock.

“With environmental works you tend to see a lot of ‘backyard blitzes’ — groups who mean well but who do their landscape works with a mate’s tractor.

“If we want to see positive long-term changes in the stability of our rivers and creeks, and see sediment and runoff managed properly, work needs to be done strategically, with the best possible equipment.”

1. Ausfield Services’ Owen Blacklock. 2. Ausfield Services and Envite Environment trainees stitch stability into the banks of Louisa Creek with erosion matting and tree planting. 3. Ausfield crews busy across the region.