The verdict’s been delivered on the condition of South-East Queensland’s waterways under a revamped annual rating system.
The findings show their overall condition is fair but they’re facing growing pressures.
Aaron Cronin reports.
Healthy Waterways has been monitoring the condition of the South-East’s river catchment areas for 15 years.
But under the new ‘Water Benefits Rating’ system the level of social and economic benefit is now also being measured.
Professor Stuart Bunn, Healthy Waterways Committee: “There are still clearly areas within our region which the catchments in particular are still in very poor condition.”
Noosa has the highest and healthiest rating in the Northern Catchment, with Maroochy and Mooloolah falling behind.
The Central Catchment was also graded poorly, as Lower Brisbane and Redlands continue to suffer from high urban pollutant loads.
It was a similar story for the Southern Catchment zones with Logan getting a D.
And long-term vegetation clearing has left key Western Catchments in a very poor state.
Within the diverse pool of findings, a new critical issue has been exposed. It’s the impact of increased sediment in our waterways, and it requires immediate attention.
Dr Paul Greenfield, Healthy Waterways Chairman: “Our problem now is mud. It’s run off from non-point sources.”
The sediment blocks marine plants and wildlife from the sun’s rays, essential to their existence.
Professor Stuart Bunn, Healthy Waterways Committee: “It’s a bit of money, and a bit of targeted investment and I’m sure we have all the tools available to be able to solve this problem once and for all.”
The Queensland Government says it’s strongly committed to continuing its partnership with Healthy Waterways.
Aaron Cronin, QUT News.