The Waterway Health Strategy supports council’s vision that waterways and wetlands are rehabilitated and protected to provide ecological sustainability through good water quality, habitat and fauna connectivity, recreational outcomes and mitigation of major storm and flood events.


Achieving healthy catchments and waterways is a top priority for Ipswich residents when it comes to caring for the environment. Long-term environmental recovery programs for priority wetlands and waterways across the city will guide council’s investment to meet community needs and desires. The future health of waterways and wetlands in Ipswich will be secured through council’s leadership and commitment to catchment and waterway health enhancements.

Over the past two decades, council has demonstrated its commitment to waterway health through investment across a range of initiatives including:

  • involvement in the SEQ Healthy Waterways Partnership (now Healthy Land and Water) and other regional and local initiatives
  • implementation of the 2009 Waterway Health Strategy, 2015 Integrated Water Strategy and 2015 Floodplain Management Strategy
  • development and promotion of waterway management guidelines including Riparian Corridor Revegetation Guidelines and Waterway and Channel Guidelines
  • assessment of waterway and wetland health condition, geomorphic condition, water quality, fish populations and platypus surveys
  • development and implementation of waterway improvement plans/corridor plans for Black Snake, Bundamba, Deebing and Iron Pot creeks
  • investment in on-ground programs and partnerships in catchment improvement projects, including the Franklin Vale Initiative
  • establishment of the Landholder Partnerships Program with incentives for private landholders to undertake rehabilitation works on their properties.
  • partnership with other organisations in the Resilient Rivers Initiative to develop coordinated action plans for the Bremer River and Mid Brisbane River catchments
  • integrated and long term planning with other organisations to develop strategic floodplain management plans for the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers
  • innovative investment mechanisms to deliver waterway health outcomes such as stormwater offsetting.

The focus of this Waterway Health Strategy is to build upon these achievements and to set the investment priorities for the next 3-5 years, based on the current threats and opportunities influencing the health of waterways and wetlands across Ipswich.

Implementation of the strategy will support council’s achievement of its Corporate Plan and the community’s vision for improved waterway health, and provide a framework for council to meet the relevant legislative requirements for waterway protection. This will be done through two approaches, being:

1. Strategic Priorities

The implementation of city-wide policies, strategies and partnerships through five strategic priorities focusing on:

  • giving waterways and wetlands room to function
  • promoting waterways and wetlands as engaging and accessible public spaces
  • supporting landholders in undertaking works on private properties
  • reducing sediment loads and improving channel stability
  • enhancing riparian corridors

2. Management Action Themes

Targeted investment across four waterway management themes for each sub-catchment, being:

  • channel management
  • riparian corridor management
  • wetlands and floodplains
  • community engagement

The strategy has taken a sub-catchment based approach for on-ground management actions to ensure that it adequately reflects the local context and condition for that catchment, and gives consideration to the varying constraints and opportunities associated with urban and rural waterways.

The targeted sub-catchment actions are represented in one or more of the four management themes to give priority for investment over the next 3-5 years, and to assist in an overall improvement in health for that waterway.