The Lockyer Valley catchment and neighbouring Mid Brisbane catchment, both devastated in the 2011 and 2013 floods, are the first two catchments to benefit from the work of the Resilient Rivers Initiative.
Fernvale farmer Jeff Payne was left with a dangerous 20-metre high creek embankment when the 2011 and 2013 floods ripped the riverbank from his property and dumped mud and soil into the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay. Today, his land has been stabilised and replanted by Seqwater as part of the Resilient Rivers Initiative.
Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chair Cr Graham Quirk said areas west of Brisbane were the priority given the amount of damage sustained during recent weather events and the threat of the Mt Crosby Water Treatment Plant being clogged with silt and eroded soil.
“Rivers and creeks in Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Somerset and west of Brisbane will be the first marked for improvement and protection as part of the Resilient Rivers Initiative. Urgent projects have already commenced, while the development of long-term Catchment Action Plans is well underway,” said Cr Quirk.
“Prior to the Resilient Rivers Initiative, great work was being done by various government and water bodies, but there was no coordination of effort. This initiative will continue to bring these parties together until there is a coordinated plan to protect all 19 catchments in SEQ.”
Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said the increasing amount of sediment entering SEQ’s waterways was the number one issue affecting overall water quality, making it more difficult and costly to treat.
“November marks the beginning of storm season, and SEQ has already copped a battering in recent weeks. It’s a real battle to keep dirt on the land and out of our waterways during these extreme weather events,” said Mr Dennis.
“The Lockyer Valley and Mid Brisbane catchments supply more than 40 percent of the region’s drinking water, but only scored a D+ and D respectively in the recent 2015 Healthy Waterways Report Card. Improving the health and quality of these catchments must be a priority for all South East Queenslanders.”
The Resilient Rivers Initiative was launched in December 2014 to protect SEQ’s waterways by delivering a coordinated approach to catchment management. Partners include the Council of Mayors (SEQ), Queensland Government, Seqwater, Healthy Waterways, SEQ Catchments, Unitywater and Queensland Urban Utilities.