Collaboration on catchment vision improves waterway health

17 February 2022

Vital Ipswich river systems will benefit from collaboration to improve waterway health at Franklin Vale Creek.

Environment and Sustainability Chairperson Councillor Russell Milligan said a restoration plan has been developed between council, landholders and the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University.

“Bank instability and erosion are significant issues at Franklin Vale Creek that cause problems for water quality downstream,” Cr Milligan said.

“Franklin Vale Creek drains into the Bremer River (via Western Creek) which, in turn, is a tributary of the Brisbane River.

“Council launched the Franklin Vale Creek Initiative in 2019 to kick start restoration works in partnership with landholders.

“We are pleased that the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University has been involved with long-term planning for this important region.

“The Franklin Vale Creek Restoration Plan 2021-2026 provides a clear direction for the next five years for collaborative efforts to restore and improve the catchment’s waterway condition.”

Cr Milligan said actions to date have included revegetating the creek corridor, creating off-creek watering points and stock exclusion fencing.

“Funding comes from council’s Stormwater Quality Offsets Scheme which is a developer-funded program to improve water quality and waterway health,” Cr Milligan said

Environment and Sustainability Deputy Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University provided specialised expertise in water management.

“The plan involved input from landholders in the catchment and will ensure decisions are based on the best available science and targeted to achievable restoration objectives,” Cr Fechner said.

“A collaborative approach is essential in the successful delivery and implementation of this plan and will be an informing document for the delivery of the Stormwater Quality Offsets Scheme.”

Benefits of the plan include:

  • native vegetation stabilising the creek and channel, which prevents erosion and helps to reduce salinity issues
  • slowing water and increasing infiltration which helps reduce flooding
  • improved water quality, reduction of weed and algae species and greater ability to support aquatic and land-dwelling wildlife
  • improved condition of livestock due to cooler areas surrounding the waterway and reduction in pollutants entering the waterway.

Landowners within the catchment are encouraged to enquire about partnering with council for future stages of the initiative. Contact council’s waterway improvement officer on (07) 3810 6666.

The Franklin Vale Creek Restoration Plan 2021-2026 was endorsed at council’s Environment and Sustainability Committee meeting and will go before the Ordinary Council Meeting on 24 February.