Research and Monitoring

research-and-monitoring.jpgWe want to work with researchers to better understand and manage our Country

We will:

  • Develop protocols for collaborating with researchers, including:
    • Protection of our knowledge
    • Training and employment
    • Sharing research findings
  • Negotiate Research Agreements with research institutions
  • Develop a Research Strategy that sets out our research priorities

Our immediate research priorities:

  • Collaboration with Southern Cross University on monitoring East Trinity Reserve remediation and tourism opportunities
  • Collaboration with Charles Darwin University on a Community Wellbeing baseline study
  • Complete environmental baseline study


To facilitate best practice research and monitoring that supports the management of the cultural and natural values of the IPA.


  • Negotiate a Research Agreement with the Southern Cross Geoscience Research Centre of Southern Cross University regarding Traditional Owner and Djunbunji Ranger involvement in the “Reverting acid sulfate soils to wetlands” research project on East Trinity Environmental Reserve;
    (Target completion date: June 2012)

  • Negotiate a partnership with University of Queensland’s Mangrove Watch Program to monitor changes to mangrove ecosystems on the IPA;
    (Target completion date: June 2012)

  • Negotiate with IPA partners to complete IPA Baseline Study;
    (Target completion date: June 2013)

  • Develop an IPA Research Strategy in collaboration with partner agencies;
    (Target completion date: June 2013)

  • Establish water quality monitoring regime for representative locations within the IPA;
    (Target completion date: June 2013) 

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Report on all targets in annual IPA Program reports;

  • Report on key achievements and/or challenges at each MYSPIC meeting, as appropriate;

  • Report on key achievements and/or challenges at each MYSPIC meeting, as appropriate;

  • Assess progress towards achieving Goal in the five-year review of the IPA Management Plan.

Research and Monitoring

East Trinity Environmental Reserve

East Trinity Reserve was formerly a natural saltwater wetland of mangroves and samphire flats. In 1970s a bund wall was built to separate the wetland from Trinity Inlet and tidal gates were installed to drain the area with the intention creating arable land suitable for a sugar plantation. The scheme, developed without consultation with or the consent of Mandingalbay Yidinji People, has been an environmental and financial disaster for which we and Queenslanders are still paying the price more than 30 years later.

Once the acid sulfate soils became exposed to the air and fresh water, sulfuric acid and heavy metals washed into creeks and Trinity Inlet after rain. After only one planting season it became obvious that the site was utterly unsuitable for agriculture and should never have been disturbed. The site was subsequently sold for large scale urban development, but fortunately these plans were eventually abandoned.

Over the last few years the Queensland Acid Sulfate Soils Investigation Team (QASSIT) of the Department of Environment and Resource Management has implemented a rehabilitation scheme aimed at gradually returning most of East Trinity to a saltwater wetland, while neutralizing the sulphuric acid discharge by releasing hydrated lime into restored tidal inflows. This process is resulting in the replacement of stands of melaleuca trees and other freshwater species with mangroves and other salt-tolerant vegetation. In 2011 this work passed to the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.

Southern Cross Geoscience Research Centre of Southern University is engaged in a long term research project to monitor and contribute to the acid sulfate spoil rehabilitation project being undertaken by QASSIT. The research is being led by Professor Richard Bush, Director of the Research Centre. Professor Bush has participated in IPA planning meetings and expressed support for the involvement of Mandingalbay Yidinji Traditional Owners and Djunbunji Rangers in the ongoing research.

Research Fellow, Centre for Tourism, Leisure & Work, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Southern Cross University regarding a possible research project to explore Traditional Owner led tourism initiatives on the East Trinity Reserve and elsewhere in the IPA.

Community Wellbeing Baseline Study

Mandingalbay Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation entered into a research partnership with Charles Darwin University to undertake a Community Wellbeing Baseline Study as the first stage in monitoring and supporting economic, social and cultural development of Mandingalbay Yidinji people in the coming years. The first stage of methodology development and community engagement has been completed and funding is currently being sought to progress the project to the next stage.