Grass growers say they have the solution to beach erosion
A CHEAP and simple solution for beach erosion could be sitting on our doorstep.
Greg and Pat Jackson from Moolboolman near Gin Gin grow Queensland's only supply of Vetiver Grass and say the plant can stabilise sand dunes in coastal areas, like Woodgate Beach.
Recently Bundaberg Regional Council committed $70,000 for a Shoreline Erosion Management Plan to address Woodgate Beach erosion, however a spokesman said Vetiver Grass wasn't a solution for Woodgate Beach.
"The erosion control strategy with which council is involved at Woodgate Beach does not currently include the need for vegetation replacement,” the spokesman said.
Last year council had looked at trialling the grass at Coonarr Beach however there were a number of reasons why council "withdrew its interest”.
"The introduction of what is a non-indigenous grass into a natural area raised concerns. The trial area would need to be significant to ensure a reasonable and reliable degree of date could be assessed and council was not convinced that the grass was the right option to address the shoreline erosion problems.”
Meanwhile Mr and Mrs Jackson said the benefits of Vetiver Grass were falling on deaf ears.
"No one's listening,” Mr Jackson told the News Mail.
"We have been struggling for some time now to get the politicians at all levels of government to sit up listen to us and the experts on managing erosion using a cheap effective bioengineering such as Vetiver Grass.”
The Jackson's say planting Vetiver Grass could be a cheap option for beach erosion, it only costs about $3 a plant.
Vetiver Grass has been used successfully around the country and world-wide for environmental protection purposes.
Mr and Mrs Jackson said the natural alternative could protect the beach and stop harmful pollutants from entering waterways.
The grass doesn't produce seeds and doesn't spread so it's non-invasive and it's root system grows from two to five metres down which makes it a great plant to stabilise slopes and banks.
The only way to propagate it, Mrs Jackson said was by pulling up and dividing the plant.
Vetiver grass is also great at absorbing contaminants from the ground like nitrates and phosphates.
It's also hardy, Vetiver can take extreme heat and is drought tolerant.
The plant also has insect-repelling roots which make an oil used widely in the perfume industry.