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Council investment in waterways slowly paying off

20 October, 2010

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said Brisbane City Council’s ongoing investment was making headway towards improving the heath of waterways.

Speaking at the launch of the 2010 Ecosystem Health Report Card, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said the fact many of the grades had improved or remained stable, despite increasing pressures as a result of population growth, proved Council’s programs were having a positive impact.

“This year alone we’ve committed to spending $6.6 million to undertake works to improve the ecological health of waterways across Brisbane,” Cr Newman said.

“These works include further erosion and sediment control, establishing water sensitive urban design facilities to capture and treat stormwater before it enters waterways, and investing in the 2 Million Trees program to reduce erosion and pollutants.

“Council also invests over a million dollars each year into the Creek Catchment Ranger program to engage the community through the city’s catchment groups to actively play a role in improving the health of Brisbane’s waterways and Moreton Bay.”

Cr Newman said this work was having a real affect on a number of waterways, but that progress was slow because waterway health wasn’t the sort of thing that turned around overnight.

“Through Council’s Local Waterway Health Assessment Program, we know that the number of native fish in our urban catchment survey area has doubled since 2007,” he said.

“The increased numbers and species of native fish is proof that the work being undertaken by Council around improving waterway health is making a real difference. There is no doubt that we have some way to go, but these results are encouraging.”

The Lord Mayor said site specific projects were also proving to be valuable investments, including works by Council at Bramble Bay, Waterloo Bay and Cabbage Tree Creek.

“The benefits can be seen in the improvement in the grades in Moreton Bay where Council upgraded waste water treatment plants to meet the highest environmental standards to reduce nutrients going into Moreton Bay,” he said.

“If you look at a site like Cabbage Tree Creek, where the grading has improved, we can see the benefits of rehabilitation works undertaken by Council like creek bank stabilisation, weed eradication and revegetation.”

The Lord Mayor said work has also begun on the Norman Creek Catchment Regeneration Project that would restore and rejuvenate the Norman Creek catchment area.

Despite Council’s substantial investment, Cr Newman said waterway health was an ongoing battle in a growing city.

“We know that major rainfall events have a negative impact on the grades which the waterway system receives and with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting well above average rainfalls this summer improvements in next year’s report card may be impossible to get,” he said.

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