Flood recovery focus supports environmental action

11 April 2022

The recovery for Ipswich’s flood-impacted flora, fauna and natural environment has been boosted by Ipswich City Council funding support.

Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Councillor Russell Milligan said council was leading a multi-agency Environment Recovery Taskforce to ensure coordination and communication across several sectors.

“One focus is supporting our wildlife carers with Flood Recovery funding of up to $1000 per application,” Councillor Milligan said.

“Wildlife carers play a crucial role in wildlife conservation, and the flood has displaced many native animals such as possums, wallabies, birds, reptiles and koalas.

“Increased call outs for these volunteer wildlife carers come with a financial impact such as fuel costs, and at the same time the severe weather has led to food shortages such as blossoms for flying foxes.

“We encourage wildlife carers to apply for Flood Recovery funding by 30 April 2022 at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/funding

A Flood Recovery Bursary has also been funded through council’s Enviroplan initiative for Landholder Conservation Partnership Program members impacted by the flood.

“These properties with high environmental value can apply during April for support associated with debris removal, bank stabilisation, replanting creek banks with native plants and controlling emerging weeds,” Councillor Milligan said.

Another focus of the Taskforce has been closures and restrictions impacting numerous council conservation estates, reserves and parks as flood recovery efforts continue.

“The sheer damage caused by the flood water can be seen at places like Colleges Crossing, but there are lots of areas where dangers such as severe track damage and land slips are not visible from the road or main entry point,” Councillor Milligan said.

“Some of our most popular natural areas are among the worst-affected and it will take time before closures and restrictions can be lifted. Please, for everyone’s safety, do not enter areas that are closed or restricted.

“It is a constantly changing situation as parks, reserves and estates are gradually restored and reopened.

"Check Ipswich.qld.gov.au/parkssearch for information before you visit.”

Councillor Milligan said the severe weather and flood event this year had ongoing environmental impacts.

“Across the city, council crews have been taking action to save and monitor significant trees as many have suffered from floodwater scouring around the bases, such as large eucalypts at Colleges Crossing,” he said.

“Through the Taskforce, council is still assessing damage across the city, but so far we have seen a significant loss of vegetation and extensive damage to green projects such as bio-basins and bank stabilisations.

“Within a few days the floodwater caused environmental damage that may take months, or even years, to restore.

“Council is working with government and other stakeholders through this Environment Recovery Taskforce to undertake this massive environmental flood recovery effort.”