The Pioneer River Basin is located West of Mackay . The Pioneer River has two main tributaries, Cattle Ck in the north west with a catchment area to Mirani Weir of 410 sq km and Blacks Ck in the south west with a catchment area of 815 sq km to Mirani Weir. Teemburra Dam in the Blacks Ck catchment is the only major storage in the upper part of the Pioneer River Catchment. These two catchments make up most of the Pioneer Valley. From Mirani Weir, the Pioneer River drains eastward to Mackay through a narrow corridor. This lower part of the river has weirs at Mirani, Marian and Dumbleton. The highest rainfall occurs in the Upper Cattle Ck and Finch Hatton area with average annual rainfalls in excess of 3000mm. Blacks Ck lies in a partial rain shadow and major parts of it have less than 1200 mm rainfall annually. From Mirani to the coast and in the Eton district, the rainfall varies between 1400 mm and 1800 mm annually. The headwaters are heavily forested with rainforests along Cattle and Finch Hatton Creeks and more open woodland forests along Blacks Creek. There is little agricultural development in the steep upper regions of the catchment but on the alluvial floodplains there is extensive sugar cane production. Cattle grazing is carried out along Blacks Creek because of its sandy soils and lower rainfall.
The Pioneer River Basin (125) ARCE was moderately modified and the ARCB was in reference condition. The basin condition was moderately modified based on the hydrological disturbance index, moderately modified based on the catchment disturbance index, largely unmodified based on the habitat index and substantially modified based on the nutrient and suspended load index.
The appropriate State agencies have reviewed this information and the following text is their comments and corrections.
The Queensland river condition expert panel assessed the Pioneer River Basin as being highly modified from natural. The riparian zone, catchment condition and catchment hydrology were assessed as being degraded.
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Environment Index scores compared to Biota Index scores for all reaches.
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- Assessment of River Condition: and audit of the ecological condition of Australian rivers (by R. Norris, I. Prosser, B. Young, P. Liston, N. Bauer, N. Davies, F. Dyer, S. Linke, and M. Thoms)(PDF 4418 KB)
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