Water plan starts with better catchment management

Water plan starts with better catchment management

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Immediate repair and rehabilitation of flood damaged waterways and floodplains is needed to reduce sediment in waterways during floods and help stop the Mt Crosby treatment plant from again clogging with mud.

Peak Crossing after January '11

Last week muddy river water forced a shutdown of Brisbane’s water treatment plants with fears some suburbs could run out of water.

Peak Crossing after restoration works 2012

SEQ Catchments CEO, Simon Warner, said his organisation had identified priority areas and works that could be undertaken over the short term to begin repairing South East Queensland’s eroded and damaged waterways as part of a longer term plan.

Peak Crossing after Jan 13

“Appropriate investment in these works is the only barrier to getting the job done,” he said.

“We have assessment teams in the field right now working with landholders and local governments to assess severe erosion and damage to infrastructure.

“Identification of the highest priority sites for repair will become increasingly evident over the next few weeks.”

Mr Warner said stream stabilisation and sediment reduction measures SEQ Catchments undertook immediately after the January 2011 floods had stood up remarkably well to the 2013 floods.

“We know what works. We can show where significant damage in 2013 was averted via remediation work undertaken following the 2011 flood.

“Investing in better stream and floodplain management and creating resilient catchments is more cost effective than rebuilding after floods and treating dirty water.

“Engineering solutions on their own will not fix the problem and are much more expensive than catchment work including revegetating and better managing our creeks and streams.

“Targeted on-ground action is needed now to improve security and quality of water supply, reduce flood risk, protect valuable agricultural land, and improve the health of South East Queensland’s waterways and Moreton Bay.”

He said SEQ Catchments supported the Queensland Premier’s push to have Queensland rebuilt to a "flood-proof" standard, even if it means relocating roads and property.

“We agree with the Premier that it is time to discuss changing Federal Government funding requirements to rebuild "like for like" projects, meaning flood-prone roads and other infrastructure continued to be rebuilt in the same location, as well as looking to innovative ways to reduce risk in the first place.

“For example, in the Mount Sylvia area in the Lockyer Valley, kms of road will need rebuilding, the same roads that were damaged in the January 2011 floods,” Mr Warner said.

SEQ Catchments’ immediate priority is to collect as much information as possible to assist landholders and the community and advise all levels of government on priority actions and investment needed.

Landholders who are concerned about their creeks and erosion should get good advice prior to undertaking works in stream as they could create problems for both themselves and those downstream.

SEQ Catchments has set up teams to assist landholders with this sort of information and deal with these issues.

Any landholder in South East Queensland who needs assistance should contact Jessica Walker on 0407 001916 or jwalker@seqcatchments.com.au

Further information: Sibel Korhaliller, 0488 713 340, SKorhaliller@seqcatchments.com.au
Jose Abad, 0403 930 380, jose@perceptioncomms.com.au

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