Cattana Wetlands Opens This Sunday!


From: 3 December 2009: The combination of a disused sand mine site, several sugarcane fields and a patch of remnant rainforest has been resurrected as an abundant vital wetlands.

Cairns Regional Council will showcase the $ 3 million project, as a result of dedicated hard work and creativity, at the official public opening of Cattana Wetlands Sunday morning, coinciding with Tropical Tree Day.

Major work has been underway for more than a year to rehabilitate the area that incorporates walking tracks, picnic shelters, a board walk and 10,000 new native trees creating a recreational haven for locals and visitors alike.

Mayor Val Schier said the site was originally a sugarcane farm owned by Franco Cattana mined to supply sand used in the creation of the Cairns Esplanade. “The site included 30 hectares of Feather Palm forest, a component of the lowland rainforest that was once extensive in this area but is now present only in remnant patches,” Cr Schier said.

“In the late 1990’s council and the community worked together on a greening plan for the area between Smithfield and Yorkeys Knob and as part of that exercise came up with a master plan for Cattana that included the lake that had sprung up in the quarry.”

The Master Plan was adopted in by Council in 1998, resulting in a wetland that currently covers an area of more than 80 hectares. “In honour of Franco Cattana’s love of this spot the boardwalk will be officially named after him. His son Jonathan will be present on the day as Mr Cattana passed away in August.”

The boardwalk’s 400m of decking has been produced from recycled plastic direct from kerbside pickup waste, equivalent to approximately 600,000 plastic 2-litre milk containers and redeeming 1186 cubic metres of landfill.

Recycled plastic planking has been utilised as site conditions require a long life expectancy structure and it is possible the boardwalk will be under water for months during the wet season.

The park will be open every day 5.30am to 7pm and may be closed in the event of wet season flooding.

The multi million rehabilitation project, in Smithfield, has been jointly funded by Council and the State Government’s 150th Legacy Infrastructure Program.

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