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2021 Townsville Waterway Forum: Our Waterways, Our Priorities, Our Futures

This Forum was held on 10 November 2021 and featured a hybrid program, with both speakers and workshop to highlight innovative solutions to waterway health and management actions in the Townsville region. This was an opportunity to hear from experts and engage in discussions whilst networking with other water quality practitioners.

We thank our sponsors C&R Consulting, Alluvium Consulting & Neilly Group Engineering

Gold Sponsor
Silver Sponsor
Silver Sponsor


Get your creative on and help us improve waterway health in the Townsville region!
We are looking for written submissions that:
    • Address one or more impacts to waterway health in the Townsville region
    • Are new and innovative and may not have been trialled before in Townsville
    • Are proactive solutions that are data and evidence-driven and will have an impact and deliver results.
    • Are collaborative in nature and inclusive to a range of organisations in Townsville.

How to Submit

All submissions must include a written summary (2-page maximum), that includes the following information:

  1. Define the area
  2. Identify the Problem
  3. Pitch your Project
  4. Identify potential resources needed
  5. Identify potential collaborations

Please email submissions here or email with subject line “PITCH YOUR PROJECT FORUM SUBMISSION” Submissions due by the 20th of October 2021.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Be a resident of the Townsville region
  • Be aged 18 years or over

Judging Criteria

The judging panel consists of members of the DTPHW Management Committee.
The top three projects will pitch their project to participants at the Townsville Waterway Forum on the 10th of November 2021 in Townsville.

The panel will evaluate the submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation– the extent to which the submission is unique to or adds value to existing solutions to improve waterway health within the Townsville catchment area
  • Impact– the extent to which the submission demonstrates the potential to affect change
  • Feasibility– the ease with which the submission can translate into a sustainable and cost-effective operating model
  • Collaboration– the extent of inclusiveness of the project

Important Dates

  • Submissions open: 1st September 2021
  • Submissions close: 20th October 2021
  • Pitch selection completed by: 27th October 2021
  • Top 3 Pitches selected & announced: 1st November 2021

*Note: Submissions can include any project that improve water quality or ecosystem health associated with Townsville waterways.

**Note: “Waterways” refers to all aquatic environments, including freshwater creeks,
streams, rivers, lakes, waterbodies, freshwater environments (e.g., wetlands), estuarine environments (e.g., saltmarshes), and inshore and offshore marine environments within the Townsville region.

Benefits of Entering

  • Enter for a chance to win a lucky door prize
  • Dry Tropics Partnerships for Healthy Waterways will support the winning project with up to $10,000 in project implementation
  • Dry Tropics Partnerships for Healthy Waterways will work with the winners to secure resources for implementation
  • Network and resource sharing: The opportunity to pitch your great idea to a broad audience of researchers, industry/businesses and community groups with an interest in Townsville waterways


School Community Waterway Connections 

Project aim is to measure the school sports field treatments’ impact on local stormwater and soil biota through 15 months of data collection & analysis. Data to be collected across 4 school sites in the Townsville area at 5 different times between Dec 2021 to Feb 2023.

  • St Benedicts Catholic School

Contact: Ngaire

Yunbenun (Magnetic Island) Drone Monitoring

Project to provide a 3-day tailored drone training program for a group of traditional owners on Magnetic Island. Subsequently the drone could be used to monitor creeks & waterfalls in the wet season and monitor interventions such as: riparian restoration, seaweed removal or reef restoration.

MICDA – Magnetic Island Community Action Plan

Contact: Gemma Wickens, Magnetic Island Community Action Plan Leader –

Terrestrial Photogrammetry Timelapse Cameras for Flow Monitoring

Project proposal is to setup a trial using three timelapse cameras, with associated survey and terrestrial photogrammetry, to provide accurate estimates of water levels from the photography at different points over a flood hydrograph. The aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach for water level monitoring.

  • Neilly Group Engineering

Contact: Reece Fraser, Principal Land & Water Specialist –

Riparian Mapping from Orthomosaics using Deep Learning

Project proposal to develop a proof-of-concept approach to delineate riparian vegetation extents from orthomosaic aerial photograph datasets.

  • Neilly Group Engineering

Contact: Reece Fraser, Principal Land & Water Specialist –

Macroalgae Biofilter – Seaweed Biofilter for Townsville Waterways

Project is to build on a strategic project designed by the Australian Seaweed Institute to establish partnerships, conduct research on potential sites. The proposed initiative is to design a small-scale pilot project that will allow the collection of Asparagopsis sp. For macroalgae farms that will service as biofilters to improve water quality. Establish a pilot seaweed farm as a source of biofertilisers and agricultural feed mises that will help reduce greenhouse gas contribution from agriculture.

  • Reef Ecologic

Contact: Al

Timebomb or rehabilitation opportunity? A plan for Yabulu

Assist with Stage 1 to rehabilitate the area at Yabulu where Qld Nickel refinery was located.

Project plan is to undertake a 1–2-day site visit and workshop to undertake stage 1 (of a 5-stage restoration project. This would include a risk assessment, SWOT analysis, PESTEL analysis and draft a Yabulu waterway & habitat restoration plan.

  • Reef Ecologic

Contact: Adam

Education and Monitoring of runoff to GBR / Ecology & Macrophytes of Constructed Wetlands

This tourist business has installed a new water treatment plan that is flood resistant, once sewerage is treated it fed through to the constructed wetland. To prevent overflow, recycled water can be utilised by local farmers. The aim is to prevent run-off & make the park self-sufficient. The Bush Oasis Caravan Park is looking for support with monitoring, data collection, revegetation & signage for educational storytelling.

  • Bush Oasis Caravan Park

Contact: Fiona Lidgett,