Murray Basin

The main town centre in the Murray basin is Cardwell which is located on the coast opposite Hinchinbrook Island and has a population of 1,176. There are several other localities including Kennedy, Bilyana and Carruchan, mainly located near the centre of the basin.

The Murray Basin varies from steep rainforest-covered mountains in the west, to a low-relief floodplain mostly developed for agriculture in the centre, with further remnant forest near the coast.

Major waterways include the Murray River, Dallachy Creek, Meunga Creek and Kennedy Creek, and numerous smaller coastal creeks drain into Hinchinbrook Channel. The sub-catchments discharge into several wetlands included in the Directory of (Nationally) Important Wetlands, and which include declared Queensland Fish Habitat Areas, seagrass meadows, and areas within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The Murray Basin has an area of 1,115 km2 and also has a high proportion of natural/minimal use lands (64%). The remaining area is comprised of 14% sugarcane, 10% forestry, 6% grazing, 1% bananas, 1% other crops, 1% urban and 4% other land uses.

The overall grade for the Murray basin is moderate (C). Only habitat and hydrology contributed to this grade.

Scroll down for further detailed results for each indicator group.

Grading

gradesa1

very good

gradesb1

good

gradesc1

moderate

gradesd1

poor

gradese1

very poor

gradesnd1

insufficient data

gradesna1

not applicable

Confidence surrounding the data used in the circle diagrams has been assessed using a multi-criteria framework.

confidence

Water quality

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

A water quality overall score and grade cannot be provided for the Murray basin in 2014/15 due to insufficient data. A new end of catchment water quality monitoring site is being established through the Paddock to Reef program, The data will be made available for future report cards.

Habitat and hydrology

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The overall habitat and hydrology grade for the Murray Basin in 2014/15 is ‘moderate’.

The habitat modification score of 100 (very good) is comprised of an impoundment length score of 100 (very good) indicating that less than 1 per cent of the total length of the waterways with a stream order of 3 or higher are impounded by artificial structures. The fish barrier indicator method is still being developed and will be available in future report cards.

Riparian extent for the Murray Basin scored 100 (good) with 7.8 per cent loss from pre-clear extent to 2013. It is expected that the majority of loss is in the lowlands due to development and land use.

Wetland extent scored 25.7 (very poor) with 49.8 per cent loss of palustrine (freshwater) wetlands from pre-clear to 2013. These results reflect a high level of historic loss due to development. Wetland losses in future reporting periods will be minimal.

Freshwater riparian extent and wetland extent are updated every four years and the figures in the pilot report card are the most current. The data for both are due to be updated in 2017/18.

The methods for the flow and invasive weeds indicators are currently under development and will be available for future report cards.

Fish

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The fish index is currently under development and will be available in future report cards.

Further information on the methods used to produce the scores and grades and detailed results can be found here.