Healthy rivers and Reef contributing to a prosperous region where people live, work and play.
The Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership is a collaboration between community, Traditional Owners, farmers and fishers, industry, science, tourism and government.
The Partnership is set to release the Mackay Whitsunday region’s first full report waterway health report card in October 2016.
#mk-edge-slider-59e68a5b6a0f0 { background-color: #000; }

Spotlight on… Conservation Volunteers Australia

Conservation Volunteers Australia work on Demoleyns Lagoon

Planting back propagated seed.


What: Discovering Demoleyns Lagoon Showcase Day

Area: Our Conservation Goal: To increase resilience through the protection, maintenance and restoration of the environment – landscapes, habitats, species and heritage. We develop innovative programs that make a positive impact on priority environmental issues and work with local communities to involve volunteers and make a difference. We manage and implement a range of rehabilitation works to improve the local sites at current as well as the longevity of healthy ecosystems through improving water quality and increasing biodiversity.

Conservation Volunteers work on Demoleyns Lagoon

DeMoleyns Lagoon

Aiming high: We aim to inspire change by connecting people with nature. Together we can make a positive difference to conservation of nature upon which all life depends and is interconnected.

In action: Conservation Volunteers Australia has been involved in practical conservation activities and community awareness campaigns at Demoleyns Lagoon since 2013. CVA has successfully partnered with community volunteers, Local, State and Federal Government, NRM groups and Corporate partnerships to connect people with Demoleyns Lagoon to inspire change. Our practical conservation activities have included removing weeds, rubbish collection, weed and pest monitoring, mapping flora and fauna, and most importantly training and education to school students, industry, and the regional community.

Demoleyns Lagoon was recently showcased to highlight its importance and unique characteristics as a ‘Matters of National Environmental Significance’ site, and also reflect on the immense conservation works undertaken by the many partner organisations over the last five years. This event was funded through the Reef Catchments via the Inland National Landcare Program.

Significant site rehabilitation and practical conservation works have been undertaken in this area, and this event aimed at building upon that knowledge base and continuing to engage the community.

DeMoleyns Lagoon Regional Ecosystem is listed as endangered by the Queensland government. In addition to providing valuable habitat for birds and other fauna, the vegetation itself is significant because of its size, the fact that it remains intact and relatively undisturbed in the highly modified landscape, and its importance due to the endangered status of the vegetation community.

The indigenous and colonial history of Demoleyns Lagoon was researched and presented by the riparian Green Army team and turned up some exciting facts. Demoleyns Lagoon formed part of ‘Abington Run’ the first selection of land stretching roughly from Mirani (then called Hamilton) to Marian in the Pioneer Valley, selected by John McCrossan in 1862.

John McCrossan was a member of John Mackay’s expedition in 1860 to search for pastoral land in the north. This same expedition resulted in the naming of the Mackay River (later re-named the Pioneer River). They followed the river down the Pioneer valley to where the city of Mackay is situated.

In 1867 Charles and Edmund Rawson became the new owners of Abington Run where it became more commonly known as ‘Sleepy Hollow’ or ‘The Hollow’.

We say: Shannon Smith, Regional Manager
“It was superb to witness a cohort of proactive conservationists at this very important wetland. CVA’s past conservation efforts in partnership with Birdlife Australia, Reef Catchments, and Mackay Regional Council which continued best management practices to ensure the conservation of this significant site. It was inspiring to listen to Cr Amanda Camm – Deputy Mayor of Mackay Regional Council provide direction for the rehabilitation of this natural asset with community ownership in sharp focus”

Stats and facts:

  • 53 interested attendees including neighbouring landholders, past project partners and organisations
  • Guest speakers included:
    • Conservation Volunteers Australia Regional Manager, Shannon Smith
    • Mackay Regional Council Pest Management Officer for Mirani, Shelley Molloy
    • Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Senior Project Officer, Phil Trendell
    • Reef Catchments Healthy Waterways Project Officer, Lauren Withers
    • Birdlife, Daryl Barnes
  • Indigenous history and bush tucker walk provided by Samarla Deshong, Koinmerburra Aboriginal Corporation
  • Birdwatching Walk and ID workshop provided by Daryl Barnes, Birdlife Mackay

More details:: You can see what projects are available to volunteer on our website.

Who We Are

Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership group in Mackay

The Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership (the Partnership) consists of 22 partners from community, industry, science, tourism, and government. The geographic area of the Partnership covers the catchments of the Don, O’Connell, Proserpine, Pioneer, and Plane basins, the urban area of Mackay, the ports of Abbot Point, Mackay, and Hay Point, marinas, and the coastal marine area.

The Partnership supports the development of an annual Mackay-Whitsunday report card,  which takes a nested approach to reporting and which aligns and integrates a range of regional monitoring programs. The Partnership is also seeking to take a whole-of-catchment approach to planning, and will integrate management approaches across organisations (e.g. looking at how the Mackay-Whitsunday Water Quality Improvement Plan, Reef Water Quality Protection Plan and the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, and other activities of partners, can help improve waterway health).

The Partnership draws on existing programs and collaborations, where possible, to ensure as much consistency across Queensland report cards, such as using the Reef Plan Independent Science Panel. More detail on how existing programs are being integrated into the Mackay-Whitsunday report card is provided in the Program Design.

The Partnership is hosted in the Mackay-Whitsunday region by
Reef Catchments Limited.

Stay up to date with news and events

.button-59e68a5b7115c { margin-bottom: 40px; margin-top: 16px; min-width: 0px !important; }
.full-width-59e68a5b70964 { min-height:120px; padding:35px 0 10px; margin-bottom:0px; background-color:#00b6c8; } #background-layer--59e68a5b70964 { background-image:url(; background-position:center center; background-repeat:repeat-y; ; } .full-width-59e68a5b70964 .mk-fancy-title.pattern-style span, .full-width-59e68a5b70964 .mk-blog-view-all { background-color: #00b6c8 !important; }