Tide turning on waterways health
  • Friday 25 October 2013

The health of local waterways improved in 2013 with support from the ongoing efforts of Sunshine Coast Council and the community.

Sunshine Coast river systems rate among the cleanest in South East Queensland according to the 2013 Healthy Waterways Ecosystem Health Report Card that provides a snapshot of the ecological health of SEQ waterways by ranking them on a scale of A to F.

Most local estuaries and freshwater catchments recorded improved water quality ratings from 2012. The Mooloola Catchment was the most improved freshwater catchment in South East Queensland.

Estuarine and Marine20122013Freshwater Catchments20122013
Noosa EstuaryB+ANoosa CatchmentBB+
Maroochy EstuaryC-CMaroochy CatchmentCC-
Mooloola EstuaryB-BMooloola CatchmentCB+
Pumicestone PassageC-C+Pumicestone CatchmentC+C-

Enviroment Portfolio Councillor Tony Wellington said the results of the annual report card for Sunshine Coast waterways were positive but show there’s still plenty of work to do for council and the community.

“Through the Environment Levy, council has invested more than $1.3 million to strengthen partnerships with not-for-profit community groups and to support private landholders to deliver positive environmental outcomes,” he said.

“These partnerships with the community must be maintained for the long term to maintain and improve the health of our local river systems.”

Other existing initiatives and partnerships between council and the community for the betterment of local waterways and catchments include:

  • Developing an action plan for the Pumicestone Passage and its catchment with MBRC, State Government, community/NRM groups and industry;
  • Mooloolah River riparian restoration program - $700,000 invested over the last three years and more than 35,000 trees planted plus improved management of local properties;
  • Sunshine Coast Farmflow project completed in June 2013 for improved land management in rural catchments (areas targeted included Kin Kin, lower Maroochy and Upper Mooloolah catchments  in partnership with Maroochy Landcare, DAFF and SEQ catchments);
  • Council Waterways Operations team performing ongoing maintenance of waterways including water quality monitoring, litter collection, aquatic weed management and responding to community enquiries on waterway issues;
  • Landslip mitigation trials – council supporting trialling of methods to minimise landslips in the Mooloolah River headwaters;
  • Community projects stabilising creek and river banks - including Mangrove restoration projects in partnership with the Bunya Bunya Aboriginal Corporation and Currimundi Catchment Community Care Group coir log project.
  • Council support for community programs like ‘River Sweep’ to help reduce litter on local waterways.

Council’s efforts to improve waterway health are guided by Council’s Sunshine Coast Waterways and Coastal Management Strategy 2011-2021.