Councils splash cash for river health

Published: 21 July 2017

Councils splash cash for river health
l-r Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen, Lockyer Valley Deputy Mayor Jason Cook, Logan Mayor Luke Smith and Redland Mayor Karen Williams

An injection of funding from South East Queensland (SEQ) councils and a targeted plan to improve the condition and resilience of the Logan-Albert catchment will aid in the recovery of some of the areas hardest hit by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

The Logan-Albert Catchment Action Plan is the fourth to be released as part of the Resilient Rivers Initiative, and will be supported by an initial contribution of more than $1 million in pooled council funds to ensure priority SEQ works can commence immediately.

Speaking at today's launch of the Logan-Albert Catchment Action Plan, City of Logan Mayor Luke Smith said the Logan-Albert catchment sustained significant damage from the deluge of Cyclone Debbie and works were needed to climate-proof the catchment.

“While we can't stop the severe weather that may affect SEQ, there are steps we can take to lessen the overall impact of these events. The City of Logan is proud to be partnering with our fellow SEQ councils to take the lead in delivering on-ground projects to build climate resilience in our catchments and improve the condition of the waterways,” said Mayor Smith.

“Our creeks and rivers are interconnected and don’t recognise local government boundaries, this is why a coordinated approach to managing and funding work in our catchments is essential in SEQ.”

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said Cyclone Debbie had stripped valuable agricultural soil from the land, knocking out the surrounding water treatment plants and threatening the local water supply.

“Time and time again, we’re seeing these severe weather events stripping the soil and destroying the livelihoods of our local producers. The Logan-Albert Catchment Action Plan is a road map to ensure we’re all working together to keep soil on our land and out of our waterways,” said Mayor Christensen.

Council of Mayors (SEQ) Treasurer and Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said high priority areas across SEQ, such as the Logan-Albert catchment, would be boosted by a contribution of more than $1 million in funds from SEQ councils to get vital on-ground works underway.

“The Resilient Rivers Initiative has identified a series of priority projects across the region, particularly in areas devastated by our recent floods like the Logan-Albert and Lockyer catchments, to benefit from an initial pool of funding contributed by the councils of SEQ.

“The Council of Mayors (SEQ) are taking the unprecedented step of contributing pooled funds to the Resilient Rivers Initiative to be used to deliver works right across the region. As a group, we recognise the importance of working collaboratively to protect SEQ’s greatest natural asset,” said Mayor Williams.

The Council of Mayors (SEQ) will contribute more than $1 million in pooled funds towards advancing the Resilient Rivers Initiative while it continues to lobby the Federal and State governments for a long-term funding and governance solution.

The Resilient Rivers Initiative is a coordinated approach to catchment management to protect SEQ’s waterways. Partners include the Council of Mayors (SEQ), Queensland Government, Seqwater, Healthy Land and Water, Unitywater and Queensland Urban Utilities.