River Repair Bus hits sixth gear in Dubbo waterways restoration

A converted 12-seater bus and heavy-duty trailer is assisting Dubbo Regional Council to ensure the city’s riverfront reserves are kept neat and clean for the enjoyment of local community and the ecosystem.  

The Inland Waterways OzFish River Repair Bus has been hard at work, racking up more than 350 hours of service since October 2020 to ensure the river systems, reserves and wetlands across Dubbo are revitalised and nurtured. The program has seen tonnes of rubbish removed, thousands of native trees planted and kilometers of parkland and riparian zones de-weeded.

It’s a timely priority as the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration will launch on World Environment Day June 5th which aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on a global scale.

OzFish’s Murray Darling Basin Manager Braeden Lampard is overseeing the River Repair Bus and said it’s done a fantastic job in protecting both fish habitat and enhancing community parks surrounding the diverse waterways and reserves in the region.

“This project has helped to protect areas of importance in the region and enhance and celebrate our river systems and wetlands. It has supported the work of local environmental and community groups to improve the natural diversity of our environmentally sensitive areas and reinvigorated our reserves and waterway health,” says Braeden. 

“The local fish and ecosystem benefits and so does the local community, it’s a win-win,” he said. 

The success has seen the concept replicated in other parts of Australia because of what it has achieved in Dubbo. 

 The Inland Waterways OzFish River Repair Bus Coordinator, David Harris has worked tirelessly doing the work others simply don’t want to do.  

“Mattresses, old tyres, washing machines, shopping trollies, syringes, cars, fast food packaging and general waste, you name it, you can guarantee, we’ve picked it up,” said David. 

“There is no doubt it’s hard and dirty work but at the end of the day we’re providing a healthy ecosystem by reducing pollution that enters our waterways after rainfall, we’re attracting insects to the riverbank with the new scrubs and trees and we’re helping our river system by nurturing new seedlings to secure and stabilise the bank.”  

The Inland River Repair Bus collecting old lounges from the riverbank

The Inland Waterways OzFish River Repair Bus has been made possible by Dubbo Regional Council and OzFish’s major partner BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing.  

For more information, or to support OzFish in their continued work to protect and restore fish habitat across Australia, join your local OzFish Chapter or donate at your local BCF -Boating, Camping Fishing store.