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Thursday, October 20, 2011

On Guard with Moreton Bay Waterways

Mayor Allan Sutherland has urged the community to remain vigilant with the health of our waterways, despite a slight improvement in freshwater quality results.

“The Healthy Waterways report card for the region is encouraging, but with continuing decline in Moreton Bay we must continue to do all we can to ensure the day-to-day activities of our community don't harm our waterways," the Mayor said.

"One of the biggest threats is inappropriate development and to be frank the risks attached to some projects are too great to gamble with.
"When it comes to development approvals, we only have one chance to get it right.
"Nobody should be under any illusion that the improved health of our freshwater catchments will see my council weaken its stand against inappropriate development in any way, shape or form.

“Now is not the time for complacency when it comes to restoring the health of the Moreton Bay Region’s waterways.

"While I'm thrilled to see the health of some of our waterways record solid improvements, the flushing effect of the biggest floods in decades has been a significant factor in the latest results." 

Mayor Sutherland was responding to the official release of the 2011 Healthy Waterways report card at the Murrumba Downs Advanced Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The 2011 Healthy Waterways results include:

      • Pumicestone Passage Catchment; C+  (C- in 2010)
      • Pine Catchment; B-   (C- in 2010)
      • Caboolture Catchment; B   (C+ in 2010)
      • Caboolture  Estuary; C-   (D in 2010) 
      • Pine Estuary; C  (C- in 2010)
      • Pumicestone Passage; C+  (D+ in 2010)   
      • Deception Bay; D+  (no change)
      • Bramble Bay; D-   (D+ in 2010)
      • Moreton Bay; C-   (C in 2010)

“An increase in native fish has been recorded in Pumicestone Passage and to my mind it indicates biodiversity can recover, but the news for Moreton, Bramble and Deception bays isn't flash,” the Mayor said.

“The millions of tonnes of mud that washed off the land during the floods, into our rivers and then Moreton Bay are likely to have an effect on the quality of the bay over summer.   

“On the upside, flooding has helped reduce nutrient levels in the Caboolture Catchment and in the Pine Catchment.”   

Mayor Sutherland said council was well advanced on the development of a Total Water Cycle Management Plan for sustainable waterways, water supply, stormwater networks and wastewater networks.

“The Total Water Cycle Management Plan is already an award winner as a leader in Excellence in Strategic Planning for stormwater management," Mayor Sutherland said.

“Partnerships with research universities are also in place to help the Moreton Bay Region strike a balance between expected population growth and healthy, sustainable waterways.

“This year’s report card not only shows what can be achieved, it also demonstrates as a region we can’t afford to go back to the bad habits of the past.”