Ken Mewburn, Take Action for Pumicestone Passage (TAPP)

Ken Mewburn OAM was born and raised on a farm in Dubbo, central NSW. Ken pursued a career in general aviation as charter pilot and instructor, then joined an Oil Company at Mascot Airport Sydney, working through the ranks to position of Manager Airport Operations, then Aviation Services and Quality Control Manager for NSW and QLD. He was particularly interested in the environmental impacts of fuelling installations and worked to improve the standards. He was a founding member of TAPP in 2010.


TS Onslow Naval Cadets lease is situated on land reclaimed in the 1970s and is subject to coastal erosion, which continued to increase with increasing development in the catchment. Various controls were implemented to protect the shoreline including concrete blocks, however the impacts of erosion continued and in 2009 more blocks were placed, without approval. The TS Onslow voluntary committee was asked to remove these and install an engineered rock wall. The cost was prohibitive so alternatives were sought. ‘Soft’ engineering involving mangrove rehabilitation was suggested by TAPP member Michael McNamara, and SEQ Catchments convened a group of community and agencies to work toward achieving this cheaper and more ecologically beneficial option. Stage 1 was completed in 2016. Stage 2 area was severely impacted by Cyclone Oma in February 2019 and restoration commenced in March 2019. Stage 2 was completed in October 2019 and has stabilised the adjacent beach area. Mangroves are slow growing and the ultimate benefits of improved fish habitat and natural values will be realised over time with ongoing natural improvement in erosion control.

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