Powerful partnership receives high praise at prestigious waterways awards
  • Wednesday 13 July 2016

The Pumicestone Passage is an internationally important wetland renowned as a haven for significant species of fish, dugong, turtles, mammals and migratory birds. However, this has all come under threat in recent years with results showing its rich, healthy ecosystem has declined.

 Sunshine Coast Council, Moreton Bay Council and 30 other community, industry and government stakeholder groups have stepped in to protect and enhance this beautiful, iconic passage and its diverse catchment – and their collective efforts have been rewarded.

Environmental Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council was honoured to have received a special highly commended award for the Pumicestone Passage and Catchment Action Plan 2013-2016 at the prestigious Healthy Waterways Awards on the weekend.

“While we are absolutely delighted to have been a finalist in the awards, and to have received a special note of recognition and commendation, the most important factor is that our collective efforts are actually making a difference in protecting and enhancing the health of the passage and catchment,” Cr McKay said.

“After learning about its declining health, we knew that significant intervention was needed to save this precious waterway and the many wildlife species that call it home.

“More species of birds have been recorded in this passage than in Kakadu National Park and it is internationally recognised as a sanctuary for migratory birds. 

“It is also an aquatic playground for us all and with its catchment it supports important farmlands, forestry and communities.” 

Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski said the achievement of the highly commended government stewardship award was thanks to a powerful partnership.

“The Pumicestone Catchment Network consisting of more than 30 community, industry and government groups united with the joint objective of saving the Pumicestone Passage – this meant putting our heads together to plan and pooling our resources together to act,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Over three years we have worked together on a wide range of actions to improve water quality and wildlife habitats and increase community and industry stewardship.

“Right now we are preparing our plan for the next three years and are very excited to continue this work with all our partners – building on our momentum and making a positive difference for our Pumicestone Passage and catchment.”

For further information on the Pumicestone Passage and Catchment Action Plan visit council’s website.