Dr Anthony Lynham


Old FNQ mine site blooms again

Acacia purpureopetala

11 May, 2018 –

Two years ago, the Palaszczuk Government committed $42 million over five years to managing public safety risks at abandoned mine sites like Target Gully – near the historic tin mining town of Irvinebank in North Queensland.

I am particularly excited about the Target Gully project because it has provided the opportunity to work with the local traditional owners, the Bar-Barrum People.

Workers were recently on site at Target Gully, undertaking remediation of an old tailings dam, where they made a surprising discovery. During survey work, they identified hundreds of critically endangered purple wattle, when only 500 plants had been estimated to remain in the wild.

Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy staff have been working with the Mbabaram Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) and as part of this partnership, Traditional Owners have helped identify native plants to revegetate the area.

Local businesses have been employed to undertake remediation work, including earthworks to re-profile the tailings, improve site drainage, backfill a tailings pond, and work to prevent further soil erosion.

Works are expected to be completed in July 2018.

Acacia purpureopetala

Images: Australian National Botanic Gardens. Photography by R. Hotchkiss and M. Fagg.