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More than $8 million spent to protect SEQ waterways

More than $8 million has been spent in the past year on vital projects to improve the health of South East Queensland’s drinking water catchments. 

Source protection work undertaken at Falls Creek in the Baroon Pocket Dam catchment. As well as drainage improvements and earthworks the project aims to assist in the stabilisation of one of the larger landslip-prone areas in Falls Creek, which impacts water quality delivered to Landers Shute Water Treatment Plant.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Neil Brennan said investment in catchment management was an effective way of protecting the security of the region’s drinking water supply.

Mr Brennan said Seqwater had been working with land care, natural resource management and conservation groups, local governments and directly with landholders across the region to deliver its program of catchment improvement works. 

"In the 19-20 financial year, Seqwater has invested about $8.2 million in catchment management, with about $5 million allocated to partnership projects,” Mr Brennan said.

“These projects have taken place across a number of catchments across SEQ and include: riparian weed control and revegetation work, landslip remediation and bank stabilisation, onsite wastewater system upgrades and other on-farm improvements.

“This work with the community to restore our drinking water sources and protect water quality, is going a long way to creating a safer, more reliable and cost-effective water supply.”

Mr Brennan said Seqwater’s catchments were one of the most highly-developed and ‘open’ in the country, with some areas containing farmland, rural properties, degraded waterways, industrial facilities and growing townships.  

“Seqwater owns less than five percent of the 1.8 million hectares of catchment lands,” Mr Brennan said.

“Water treatment starts on our catchments and Seqwater works hard with the community to improve catchment health and protect the quality of water entering our water treatment plants..

“Through working with established catchment groups across the region to carry out these projects, it’s allowed Seqwater to tap into local knowledge and better connect with the communities we serve”. 

The partnership program has also enhanced the provision of economic, environmental and social benefits for communities and businesses, while also supporting local employment.  

“It has never been more important to continue to invest in the health of our drinking water supply catchments and support the future economic, social and environmental health of our region,” Mr Brennan said.

“At Seqwater we are committed to our ongoing catchment partnership program”.

Program highlights (19-20)

•    $1.34 million to control heavy infestations of Cats Claw Vine and other priority weed species along waterways in six separate drinking water catchments 
•    $980,000 to deliver catchment improvement works in the Lake Baroon catchment, including weed control, hillslope stabilisation and improving agricultural practices 
•    $460,000 to deliver catchment improvement works along the Mary River, including fencing, weed control and dairy farm improvements 
•    $385,000 to deliver weed eradication works in the North Pine Dam catchment targeting the control and eradicate infestations of Cats Claw Vine and Chinese Celtis trees
•    $380,000 to address the impacts of on-site wastewater systems in two drinking water catchments through awareness and grants programs, in partnership with local councils 
•    $330,000 to deliver catchment improvement works in the South Maroochy River near Poona Dam, including eradicating infestations of Madeira Vine and Cats Claw, landslip stabilisation works, revegetation and on-site wastewater system improvements 
•    $300,000 to implement on-farm improvement works in the Mid Brisbane River catchment, including gully erosion remediation and revegetation
•    $185,000 to deliver catchment improvement works in the Lake Macdonald catchment, including fencing, targeted weed control, erosion repair works and landowner education

Seqwater CEO Neil Brennan with Healthy Land and Water Project Manager Mark Waud and  HLW CEO Julie McLellan where work has been undertaken to stabilise an eroding gully site along the mid-Brisbane River and re-vegetate the area.

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