Fitzroy Partnership for River Health News!

August edition...

Welcome and thanks to new and old Partners

Fitzroy Partnership for River Health is excited to announce the Australian Government as a new Partner for the 2018-19 financial year. We extend a warm welcome in this inaugural year and look forward to active involvement with the Partnership. 

A big thank you is extended to Rio Tinto for valuable contribution and involvement in the Partnership as a Major and founding Partner since we began in 2011. Rio Tinto recently divested from all coal mine assets in the Fitzroy Basin, including Kestrel, Hail Creek and Valeria coal mines. As a result of these sales, Rio Tinto will no longer be a Partner for the 2018-19 financial year. We acknowledge and thank Rio Tinto for the many years of service and contribution to the Partnership. 

'Care for creeks' bursary up for grabs

Testing water quality and sampling water bugs with community.
Applications are now open for Fitzroy Partnership for River Health’s 2018 Care for Creeks Bursary.

The 'Care for Creeks' Bursary supports community groups and schools in the Fitzroy Basin to monitor the health of local waterways.
Two Waterway Monitoring Prize Packs valued at $1,000 each will be up for grabs. The packs include water monitoring equipment and training. Winners will be able to sample and identify water bugs and test pH, salinity and turbidity levels, then load the data into our MyWater community monitoring portal to generate grades, making analysis and interpretation of the data simple and easy for everyone. 

The bursaries aim to engage and educate our younger generation and community on the importance of caring for creeks and rivers by actively monitoring water quality. In return for the water monitoring gear, it is expected that winners will sample and analyse local waterways and upload data to the MyWater community monitoring portal. It's a fun way to get involved and learn about water quality and aquatic ecosystem health.
Interested applicants should read the conditions of entry and how to apply before submitting an application.
Entries can be submitted via our online entry form up to and including Friday 21 September (end of Term 3).

HeART of the Basin Scholarship opens for third year partnering with CQUniversity

Former Science Panel Chair, Professor Barry Hart (centre), with former Management Committee Chair, Ian Gordon (left) and Executive Officer, Nathan Johnston (right).

Fitzroy Partnership for River Health are offering the annual HeART of the Basin Scholarship through CQUniversity to increase our research efforts and knowledge of waterway health in the Fitzroy Basin.

$2,000 scholarship, now in its third year, contributes to research expenses and aligns to our aim of creating create a more complete picture of river health for the Fitzroy Basin. It also celebrates the contribution of inaugural Fitzroy Partnership for River Health Science Panel Chair, Professor Barry Hart.

The 2018 HeART of the Basin scholarship is open to research students at CQUniversity studying Honours, Masters by Research or PhD to progress their learnings in a research topic relating to better understanding of waterway health in the Fitzroy Basin by supporting their research expenses.

Applications close 5 November 2018.

The Partnership will assess and select the successful applicant, announcing the winner in late 2018, and CQUniversity will manage the student scholarship through their Scholarships Program (thanks CQUniversity!). 

Full details on the selection criteria, process, eligibility, application process and form are located here.

Exploring waterway health indicators: Salinity 

Salt grade scale used in the FPRH ecosystem health report card and MyWater community monitoring portal for waterways in the Fitzroy River Catchment.
Salinity is the measurement of the level of all salts in a water sample including Sodium Chloride and other salts like magnesium chloride and calcium chloride.

Too much salt can negatively impact the health of waterway ecosystems, humans, stock, crops, wildlife and industry. In freshwater ecosystems, salt can affect the structure, function and diversity of species by impacting upon the health and survival of aquatic plants, riparian vegetation and aquatic macro-invertebrates and fish.

Our ecosystem health report card reports on Electrical conductivity.
Salts dissolved in water conduct electricity more readily than pure fresh water. The level of this Electrical Conductivity (EC) can then be used to determine the amount of salts dissolved in waterways.

Salinity is tested with an EC meter that measures the conductivity of the water and displays this value in microsiemens per centimetre (µS/cm). These meters vary in size, price, range of results and accuracy of results. Low levels of salt are found in drinking water, less than 350 µS/cm up to extremely high levels of salt (hyper-saline) such as sea water, which is usually around 50,000 µS/cm. A good explanation of the difference between salinity, electrical conductivity and total dissolved solids can be found here.

  1. Keep the bottom of the probe (that measures the salt in water) clean and rise with tap water or de-ionised water before and after each use. This reduces contamination risk and errors in readings.
  2. Don't touch or wipe the probe with a cloth or clothing as this can also contaminate.
  3. Our community water quality monitoring guide has a great reference on how to measure salinity with a basic salinity and electrical conductivity meter (like the photo of the waterproof EC meter below). 
Salinity meter measuring electrical conductivity and temperature of tap water.

Tilapia, wetlands, water & fishing fun!
Join us on October 21!

Fishing for Tilapia and identifying macro-invertebrates at last year's Tilapia Terminator and Wetland Care Day at Yeppen Lagoon.
Join us on Sunday 21 October for a family fun day at Yeppen lagoon on the Fitzroy River floodplain.

Come along and get your head, heart and hands involved in waterway and wetland health, where you can learn about:
  • Water quality and what the results mean
  • Native fish and pest fish such as Tilapia
  • Identifying water bugs as an indicator of water health
  • Testing pH, salinity and turbidity
  • Wetland and waterway health
  • Why wetlands are important
  • Why water quality is important
  • What to do about Tilapia if you find them
  • Tilapia terminator fishing competition
  • Weeds and their impact on wetland and waterway health
  • Native riparian and wetland vegetation
  • MyWater community monitoring portal
  • Fitzroy Partnership's ecosystem health report card
We will be partnering with Rockhampton Regional Council, Fitzroy Basin Association, Infofish Australia, Keppel Bay Sports Fishing Club and CQUniversity to run this great event.

Keep an eye out on our website news page and home page for more details in the future.

FPRH welcomes Samantha to the team

A warm welcome is extended to Samantha Hall who recently joined the Fitzroy Partnership team as our Communication Coordinator. 

Sam brings 12 years of knowledge and skills in the communication sphere to the Partnership. After studying at Central Queensland University, she has worked in health, local government and environment fields. She worked for Fitzroy Basin Association for 5 years as their Communication Coordinator before taking maternity leave in 2017 and returning in a part-time capacity. 

Sam was first employed by FBA in a dual role working with the Fitzroy Partnership and promoted the release of our first report card so it is great to have her re-join the team.
Samantha Hall presenting at the International River Symosium in 2013
for Fitzroy Partnership

Got a River Rave?  Share it with community!

We welcome news articles from FPRH partners and the Fitzroy community. This newsletter is sent to a database of over 500 and is continually growing.

If you have a good news story, interest piece or lead we would love to hear from you - please contact us by phone or email below. 
If you would like more information about joining the partnership please contact:

Nathan Johnston - Executive Officer
P: 07 4999 2821 | M: 0400 221 055 | E:
If you have a more general comment or request, please contact:
Kash Walker - Web Developer
P: 07 4999 2819 | E:

Fitzroy Partnership for River Health
Level 1, 80 East Street
PO Box 139 Rockhampton, QLD 4700
FBA is the current host organisation of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health.

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Fitzroy Partnership for River Health · Level 1 · 80 East Street · Rockhampton, Qld 4700 · Australia

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