Native Plants Prepared to Improve Coasts and Jobs in Douglas Shire

NATIVE coastal plants at the Mossman Nursery are being prepared to improve coastlines and grow employment opportunities in Douglas Shire.

Douglas Shire Council staff are carefully growing a variety of native plants as part of the Reef Assist program – a $10 million Queensland Government program aimed at creating environmental jobs in the Great Barrier Reef catchment areas.

Council has partnered with local business, Papillon Landscapes, to deliver a coastal rehabilitation project and give local jobseekers hands-on horticultural experience.

As part of the funding program, Council has also employed a nursery technician to care for plants at the nursery.

Project Manager Melissa Mitchell said the project will see more native plants, such as beach lettuce (scaevola taccada), pop up on Douglas coastlines.

“The coastal dune rehabilitation project will help Council protect its sensitive foreshore vegetation,” she said.

“Our team is putting a lot of work into growing these plants and getting them ready to be on the frontline of dune protection.

We are really excited to work with Papillon Landscapes to give local jobseekers a valuable experience in horticulture.”

Council is also developing Foreshore Management Plans for Wonga Beach, Newell Beach, Cooya Beach, Four Mile Beach and Oak Beach.

A Foreshore Management Plan is designed to guide the management of foreshore zones within the Douglas Shire.

They are being developed to better identify how the natural character of the area, as well our foreshore zones can be managed to maintain as protecting their environmental, cultural, recreational and social values.

The plans will inform dune protection, including weed species for removal, native vegetation species for regeneration, and pedestrian and vehicle access management.

There will be several opportunities for people to get involved in the development of the Foreshore Management Plans. 

Douglas Shire Council Media Release

About Reef Assist /

The $10 million Reef Assist program is delivering priority environmental projects and creating around 130 regional jobs for unemployed and underemployed Queenslanders in the Wet Tropics, Burdekin and Mackay Whitsunday Great Barrier Reef catchment areas.

A total of 11 on-ground projects will be delivered in partnership with local governments and natural resource management organisations.

Work involves tackling a range of environmental issues including protecting critically endangered species habitat, rehabilitating dunes to improve resilience to natural disasters, stabilising stream and riverbanks, removing weeds and other invasive pest species, investigating ecotourism trail opportunities, developing conservation-based tourism expeditions, and undertaking revegetation works. Some projects also draw on the skills and knowledge of First Nations people to provide training and environmental management skills for Indigenous job seekers.

The priority areas were selected as they have been badly impacted by a loss of visitors as a result of COVID-19. These regions will receive an economic boost from the projects and contractors, tourism providers and local businesses will also benefit.

The Douglas Shire Council project is the rehabilitation of dunes to improve their resilience to natural disasters such as flooding and cyclones.