Waterways: Good, but challenges ahead

Published 5:00am 20 January 2024

Waterways: Good, but challenges ahead
Words by Nick Crockford

The City of Moreton Bay should be “absolutely proud” of its results in the latest Healthy Land and Water Report Card, Mayor Peter Flannery says.

Three river catchments and bay areas improved their ratings in 2023 and six maintained their ecosystem scores over the 12 months. None went down.

“We’ve seen Pumicestone, Caboolture, and Stanley catchments, as well as the Central Bay and Eastern Bay, maintain their score,” the mayor said.

“Pine, Lower Brisbane and Western Bay have improved theirs and it’s something we can absolutely be proud of.

“But we won’t be resting on these results. There is always more to do. We’re ready to face our next challenge.”

The 2023 Healthy Land and Water report graded areas across South East Queensland for environmental condition and socio-economic benefit (residents’ rating). Click on catchment name for link to full report.

Pine catchment (from Ocean View down to Samford and across to Redcliffe):

Environmental rating: Very Good for a sixth time in the last nine years. Up from Poor in 2022.

Socio-economic rating: 4 (out of 5) up from 3.5 in 2022. Returned to 2020 and 2021 rating.

Caboolture catchment (Mt Mee down to Caboolture, across to Rothwell and Beachmere):

Environmental rating: Fair, repeat of 2022 grade. Was rated Very Good from 2016-2021.

Socio-economic rating: 3.5 as it has been for the last five years. Was rated 3 from 2016-18.

Waterways: Good, but challenges ahead

Pumicestone catchment (from Bribie, to inland area above Caboolture and up to Caloundra):

Environmental rating: Very Good, as it was in 2022.

Socio-economic rating: 4.5, maintaining its grade of the last 4 years

Stanley catchment (Sheep Station Ck down to Mt Byron up to Woodford and Peachester):

Environmental rating: Fair, again. Was rated Very Good from 2015-2021.

Socio-economic rating: 3.5, as it was in 2022. Only reached 4 once in last nine years.

Lower Brisbane (includes southern tip of City of Moreton Bay):

Environmental rating: Poor, up from Very Poor in 2021. Highest was Fair in 2019

Socio-economic rating: 3.5, matching 2022 – it’s highest rating since 2015.

Western Bay (from Bribie to Deception Bay, Bramble Bay down to Wellington Point):

Environmental rating: Excellent, up from Very Good in 2022. Was Excellent from 2019-21.

No socio-economic rating

Central Bay (southern tip of Bribie down to Victoria Point)

Environmental rating: Excellent, matching 2022 and the preceding 5 years

No socio-economic rating

Eastern Bay (bottom of Bribie, past Moreton Island down to Maclay Island):

Environmental rating: Excellent, as it has been every year since 2015.

No socio-economic rating

Waterways: Good, but challenges ahead

These ratings were released before the heavy rain of the last two months.

"We are worried about tipping points, after which recovery will be near impossible or too expensive to contemplate,” Healthy Land & Water CEO, Julie McLellan said.

“Whether it is protecting waterways, threatened species or increasing sustainable and productive land use and building developments, action is needed.

“We have the data, the insights, and the solutions. Now, it's about scaling up efforts to protect the biodiversity, lifestyle values, and economic benefits that our waterways bring to the community.”

Visit the website of Healthy Land & Water to see the full results.

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