Skip to content

TSRA workshop inspires new advanced gardening and aquaponics project for Badu

TSRA LSMU Murabadulgal Rangers and Land Team discuss with Prince Philip of Monaco the operations and benefits of Aquaponics on Badu.

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), Badu Rangers and My Pathway have donated key resources and time for the development of an advanced gardening and aquaponics project for the Badu community.

The Badu community recently expressed their desires for a community garden following a gardening workshop, led by Mr George Saveka of the TSRA Land and Sea Management Unit (LSMU) with the assistance of the Badu Rangers.

Mura Badulgal (TSI) Corporation RNTBC and Chair, Laurie Nona gave generous support to the initiative and the Badu community council provided assistance with information surrounding water availability.

The TSRA Acting Chairperson, Mr Jerry Stephen, saidthe project was an exciting initiative for Badu that had developed as a collaboration of people and existing resources.

“This collaborative project has been driven by the TSRA Land and Sea Management Unit, Rangers and My Pathway, in order to answer the Badu islander’s desires for a community garden,” Mr Stephen said.

“The garden will provide the means for the community to benefit from the production of some essential crops whilst utilising the most water efficient methods available.

“We are grateful to My Pathways for donating the aquaponics system to the Badu community.

My Pathways had acquired the system for a different project however, the aquaponics personnel left before the system could be installed.

Rather than leave it to sit in a shed unused, they have donated the system to this project, with the understanding that it will be maintained by the Badu Rangers for the good of the community.

The TSRA has also donated a greenhouse to shelter the new aquaponics system, which the Rangers and My Pathways teams have come together to install.

“In order to ensure power and water was available for the project, local contractors had worked over the weekend and the new local quarry had donated the rock base for the aquaponics set up,” Mr Stephen said.

Both the My Pathways and Rangers teams received training in advanced aquaponics by the system designer and the local fire brigade was able to help the rangers to pump some suitable water from a spring.

The local school recently loaned the Rangers a small green house that was not being used at the school to provide a further gardening space for the project.

Once the system is up and running it will use up to 70 times less water than a normal garden bed.

The plan is to then install water tanks and a wind turbine to make this system completely self-sufficient.

Following the installation, the Murabadulgal Rangers received a welcome visit from ‘The Green Prince’ Prince Albert of Monaco, who showed an interest in the aquaponics system.

His Serene Highness was greeted by the Murabadulgal Rangers and TSRA, Sustainable Horticulture Regional Landcare Facilitator, Mr George Saveka, who took Prince Albert on a tour of how the Aquaponics system operates and as well as providing benefits to the Badu Island Community, individuals and families in accessing fresh vegetables.

The TSRA rangers and My Pathways participants are currently working on another project called a Hugelculture garden bed that uses waste timber and very little water. The site will include wicking beds, which are very effective at storing water and weed suppression.

The TSRA Land and Sea Management Unit are working towards hugelculture, wicking beds and eventually aquaponics being used widely across the islands of the Torres Strait to help improve access to quality food for communities, while acknowledging the issues surrounding access to local nutrients, good soil, space and water to produce this food.

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.