SEQ waterways on the mend

21 / Apr / 2015 | News

The Council of Mayors (SEQ) is inviting the Federal Government to join the Resilient Rivers initiative, a coalition of government and water entities, to fix South East Queensland’s waterways and catchments.

Viewing a stretch of eroded creek bank in the mid-Brisbane catchment today, Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chair Cr Graham Quirk stressed the need for a long-term commitment to secure SEQ’s waterways.

“The Resilient Rivers initiative has brought together Local and State Government, and the relevant water utilities in SEQ. We look forward to a commitment from the Federal Government to deliver a strategic and coordinated approach to protecting our waterways,” said Cr Quirk.

“The Federal Government has indicated there is funding available through various environmental programs. We welcome this and hope this is the start of a strong partnership for the coordinated management of the region’s catchments.

“South East Queensland generates one fifth of Australia’s economic growth, and our waterways are the lifeblood of that growth. It will take a commitment from all tiers of government to ensure our greatest natural asset for future generations,” said Cr Quirk.

Resilient Rivers was an initiative of the Council of Mayors and borne out of the 2013 floods when silt and eroded soil from the upper reaches of the Brisbane River prevented the Mt Crosby Water Treatment Plant from operating and meeting demand. Brisbane came within six hours of running out of drinking water, a situation the Resilient Rivers initiative will help address.

Seqwater’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Peter Dennis added that the job of securing SEQ’s water supply and improving the catchment conditions was bigger than any one entity; a holistic and sustained approach was key.

“Due to the degradation of the catchment and the nature of the weather event, in January 2013, parts of the region faced the prospect of running out of drinking water because we couldn’t treat the raw water coming down the Brisbane River,” said Mr Dennis.

“While we have invested to improve the resilience of our Mt Crosby water treatment plants, the catchments remain in crisis. The time has come to work together to deliver the right long-term solution for the whole of SEQ. We will all benefit from healthy catchments and a more liveable region.”

The Resilient Rivers initiative was launched in December 2014 with the aim of improving the health of 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.