Rotarians ‘adopt’ Redcliffe waterway

Published 10:00am 16 April 2024

Rotarians ‘adopt’ Redcliffe waterway
Words by Kylie Knight

The Rotary Club of Redcliffe Sunrise has ‘adopted’ Redcliffe’s Humpybong Creek in a bid to improve water quality so people can eventually swim in it.

The move to take action to make the creek, which flows from MacDonnell Rd in the south and out into Moreton Bay, north of the Redcliffe Jetty, healthier follows a decision by Rotary International to add the environment as one of its seven focus areas in 2020.

The Rotary Club of Redcliffe Sunrise and the Moreton Bay chapter of the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG) ‘adopted’ Humpybong Creek in 2023.

ESRAG members Colin Scobie and Peter Row discussed poor water quality in waterways, including Humpybong Creek, with Mayor Peter Flannery and council officers in November.

The pair had a meeting with council CEO Scott Waters and Councillor Karl Winchester (Div 6) in January to emphasise the need to consider alternatives to harmful herbicides and to request inclusion in reference groups which assist in development of catchment action plans.

“Citizen science-focused members have a knowledge and understanding of the issues involved and are well-placed to contribute,” Peter says.

A council spokeswoman says information was provided during the meetings about improvements already made to Humpybong Creek. Council committed to further collaboration with Healthy Land and Water and ESRAG on water quality.

Colin says Rotarians have been interested in the waterway for almost a decade, contributing ideas to the Humpybong Creek Management Plan in late 2014.

“Council also completed a condition assessment (2015-15) which identified extremely poor water quality due to untreated stormwater inflows, deteriorating concrete edges, limited maintenance access, accumulated sediments and organic matter and aquatic weed infestations,” Colin says.

“A two-stage remediation program finished in late 2022 and went some way to addressing many of these issues.”

Rotarians ‘adopt’ Redcliffe waterway
Rotary Club of Redcliffe Sunrise's Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG) has adopted Humpybong Creek at Redcliffe.

Work in progress

Stage one was completed in 2021 and included the creation of a sediment basin to improve water quality.

Stage two was completed in 2022 and included removal of deteriorating concrete edges, weed removal and bank stabilisation. These improvements aimed to enhance biodiversity and water quality, visual amenity, and pedestrian connectivity and safety.

“City of Moreton Bay appreciates the time and efforts that all local environment groups and volunteers undertake to protect and restore the region waterways and natural areas,” the spokeswoman says.

“Council will continue to work with ESRAG and the other local groups to continue, where possible, to deliver targeted environmental projects and initiatives.”

Colin says the group is in it for the long haul.

“It’s a five-year journey, if not longer. The goal is to make it swimmable and there’s a bit of an international push on a lot of creeks and rivers to make them swimmable.”

Colin says members are working with council, Healthy Land and Water and the State Government to improve water quality.

“That’s the first step and then we can say, ‘let’s budget for some riparian edge enhancements’. They need to budget for these sorts of things. It’s not a cheap process,” Colin says.

The pair says removing concrete from the creek bank and restoring the riparian edge will slow the flow of the water and allow it to filter naturally before it makes its way to Moreton Bay.

Members are testing the water every six months but are hoping to increase that to every two months if they are successful in securing grant funding.

“I think everyone in their hearts knows what’s wrong, we just need them to see some data that supports that, and is undeniable, and perhaps that might be a contributing factor to making a change,” Peter says.

“I think the council is on a bit of an environmental journey. That’s our feeling. We’re optimistic,” Colin adds.

Rotarians ‘adopt’ Redcliffe waterway

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