The Lockyer catchment is a priority for the South East Queensland region under the Resilient Rivers Initiative due to its significant agricultural production value and its location upstream of the main water supply intake for the region. In addition, two pieces of regionally significant transport infrastructure traverse the catchment, the Warrego Highway and the railway line servicing
Toowoomba and further west (the Darling Downs and mining areas).
The Lockyer catchment is an agricultural powerhouse for the region and Queensland with the highly fertile soils of the alluvial valley floor producing a range of vegetables worth over $260 million per annum. This equates to 19 percent of Queensland’s annual vegetable production. The industry relies on irrigation mainly from groundwater. Floods and droughts impact on the groundwater supply and the integrity of the alluvial soil.
The 2011 and 2013 floods devastated the catchment and its community. The impact on infrastructure alone was extreme with greater than $12 million of repairs occurring in Tenthill Creek sub-catchment alone. Local infrastructure impacts caused significant disruption to the agricultural industry with flow-on effects to the regional economy.
Lockyer Creek enters the Brisbane River below Wivenhoe Dam and in high flow events it can impact downstream areas through flooding and siltation. Of significance is the potential impact on the Mt Crosby Weir and surrounding catchment, which is the main water supply intake for the region and provides drinking water for three million people in South East Queensland.
Lockyer Catchment Action Plan