Community-led approach to rehabilitation of Caloundra South

Community-led approach to rehabilitation of Caloundra South

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Simon Warner, Chief Executive Officer, SEQ Catchments; Jill Chamberlain, Sunshine Coast and Hinterland president, Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland; Mark Stephens, Senior Development Manager, StocklandNurdon Serico, Gubbi Gubbi ElderBell's CreekBell's CreekSimon Warner, CEO SEQ CatchmentsSusie Chapman, SEQ CatchmentsNudron Serico, Kerry Jones and Jacoah Jones, Gubbi GubbiMark Stephens, Senior Development Manager, Stockland.Simon Warner, CEO SEQ CatchmentsDanielle Mcpherson, Seven News

The first of many grass-roots community rehabilitation projects at Caloundra South is underway as a result of funding from Stockland and the State Government’s Healthy Country program.

As part of its commitment to community engagement, Stockland is investing $100,000 over the next five years for community-led rehabilitation and conservation projects on the Caloundra South site.

The first Caloundra South community initiative involves the rehabilitation of a pocket of land, referred to as Little Italy due to its distinctive shape resembling the famous ‘boot’ of Italy. The site borders Bells Creek on the eastern side of Caloundra South and includes a local fishing hole. Cattle currently grazing the site can access the banks of Bells Creek, and it’s Stockland’s intention to exclude livestock from the area as part of its long-term rehabilitation strategy.

“Little Italy” will be fenced off with more than 700 metres of solar-powered electric fencing to prevent cattle accessing and degrading Bells Creek and allow for the regeneration of 50 hectares of the property.

The site will then be rehabilitated with seeds from endangered species such as Allocasuarina Emunina that have been collected and propagated by Greening Australia. This initiative will improve the water quality of Bells Creek, which flows into Pumicestone Passage, and will also serve to protect and enhance the habitat of the nationally endangered Water Mouse (Xeromys Myoides).

The rehabilitation work will be coordinated by SEQ Catchments Ltd under the Caloundra South Community Stewardship program – developed by Stockland, community organisations and representatives and the Sunshine Coast Council – to identify and optimize community land care opportunities within Caloundra South.

Stockland funding will be used for flora and fauna monitoring and the maintenance of rehabilitation projects identified by the Caloundra South Community Stewardship program.

SEQ Catchments Chief Executive Officer, Simon Warner, said the initiative was a great opportunity to partner with Stockland and community organisations to improve waterway health and the ecological integrity of the Bells Creek and Pumicestone Catchments at a grass-roots level.

“This demonstrates a step towards encouraging wise stewardship from the outset of development projects. The collaborative approach is to be commended and will optimize the long-term outcomes for the community and our natural assets,” Mr Warner said.

Kingsley Andrew, Stockland General Manager Residential Queensland, reaffirmed the company’s long-standing commitment to work with communities to ensure the responsible and sustainable development of Caloundra South.

“Our engagement to date has led to significant environmental outcomes which will benefit the region, including additional conservation for habitat protection and creation and expanded plans to undertake substantial revegetation of waterways,” Mr Andrew said.

“Little Italy is the first of many community rehabilitation projects planned for the site and I’m very excited that the site’s rehabilitation is underway, well-ahead of the schedule laid out as part of the project’s environmental conditions. It’s also great to see such positive engagement and support from so many local community-based environmental groups.”

Sunshine Coast Council Division 1 Councillor, Rick Baberowski, applauded the initiative and welcomed Stockland’s funding commitment towards the commencement of rehabilitation work.

“Caloundra South is to become a major new residential community over the next 20 years and it is encouraging to see such a strongly collaborative approach to the environmental repair work begin early in the process,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Sunshine Coasters are proud and protective of their environment and waterways and I am happy to see Stockland recognise and support the importance of this.”

The community organisations involved in the Caloundra South Community Stewardship program include:

• Sunshine Coast Environment Council
• Gubbi Gubbi & Kabi Kabi people
• Take Action on Pumicestone Passage
• Night Eyes Water and Land Care
• Wildlife QLD (Sunshine Coast branch)
• Coochin Creek Bushland Care Group
• Greening Australia
• Sunshine Coast Council
• Healthy Waterways
• University of the Sunshine Coast
• SEQ Catchments Ltd

Key Caloundra South environmental outcomes:

Caloundra South presents an enormous rehabilitation opportunity for hands-on community engagement:

• Extensive rehabilitation of waterway corridors and environmental buffers
• Dedicated 440ha Environmental Protection Zone
• Work with community to assist, fund and deliver of international scale an environmental education centre to foster life-long learning opportunities focused on the Pumicestone Passage
• Delivery of Australia’s largest wetland and rainwater/stormwater harvesting project – over 70 hectares of wetland including the potential to capture and treat urban stormwater for potable and non-potable re-use

Healthy Country is an $8 million state-funded grants project which enables communities, farmers and scientists to work together to improve water quality in South East Queensland’s catchments and Moreton Bay. 

Media enquiries

Stockland: Stephen Sealey

Pitch Public Relations

T +61 (0)7 3398 8660
M +61 (0)412 858 713

SEQ Catchments: Sibel Korhaliller

T 07 3503 1425

M 0488 713 340

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