$5 million to protect SEQ against water pollution

The Palaszczuk Government will invest more than $5 million over the next three years to help tackle water pollution in South East Queensland waterways.

The Queensland Government will invest more than $5 million over the next three years to help tackle water pollution in South East Queensland waterways.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the funding would continue ongoing efforts to reduce sediment runoff into local rivers and creeks, as well as critical monitoring and report card programs.

“The Queensland Government is working with industry and communities to protect our Great Barrier Reef. We’re also investing millions of dollars in protecting our southeast waterways. It includes places like Pumicestone Passage and Moreton Bay,” Minister Scanlon said.

The funding includes $2.996 million for Healthy Land and Water programs and $1.1 million to Growcom Australia for best management practice programs. There is also $1 million for the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) agronomic research programs.

“These projects builds on the work already done across the region. They will implement actions to help address some of the critical water quality pressures facing SEQ into the future.

“With a $2.156 million investment in Healthy Land and Water’s interactive, everyone can get involved in the health of SEQ’s waterways.

Funding supports water pollution removal programs

Minister Scanlon said a further $810,000 would also enable Healthy Land and Water. It will continue its leading Erosion and Sediment Control and Urban Stormwater Capacity Building Program. The Program works with local governments and the construction industry to reduce sediment runoff to waterways.

“Growcom Australia’s allocation of $1.1 million will see the continuation of the Horticultural Best Management Practice Program (Hort360) in the Lockyer, Fassifern, Laidley, Bremer and Pumicestone catchments. Hort360 collaborates with local growers to reduce sediment, nutrient and pesticide loads.

“DAF has been allocated $1 million to support best management practices. They will continue agronomic research and technical support for bioreactor implementation to improve SEQ water quality.”

Key outcomes from the funded water quality programs include:

  • Delivering multiple assessments of erosion and sediment control practices across SEQ urban areas. They will also conduct training and field days. It will also seek to align local government and the construction industry with best management practices to improve SEQ water quality
  • Targeting three kilometres of bioreactors at key locations in the Pumicestone region to dramatically reduce the amount of nitrogen flowing to waterways and Moreton Bay
  • Reduced sediment, nutrient and pesticides entering local waterways and flowing to the Pumicestone Passage and Moreton Bay. This will be achieved through the delivery of a seed-funding program. It seeks to support farmers to implement sustainable land management and on-farm practice changes
  • Producing innovative agronomic research to reduce nutrient and pesticide application in key food production areas in SEQ, and
  • Assuring the continued delivery of the SEQ Report Card and accompanying monitoring – building on more than 20 years of previous investment and trend analysis.

Removing water pollution supports great lifestyles

Healthy Land and Water CEO Julie McLellan said south-east Queensland was loved for its waterways and coastal areas.

“But as the pressures on SEQ water quality rise, initiatives like these are more critical to protect waterway health and our community’s quality of life,” Ms McLellan said

“The SEQ Monitoring Program draws from a 20-year-plus dataset of waterway catchment health. The database has been formed in partnership with DES Science and Technology Division, local governments, utilities, and research.

“The data and information collected are analysed. It will be used for protecting and improving the health of waterways and catchments in south-east Queensland.

“The latest Queensland Government funding will support the work being undertaken to improve the health of our waterways and catchments. It will also support programs in Moreton Bay and the other natural assets of the region,” Ms McLellan said.

Growcom CEO Rachel Chambers is pleased the excellent work and collaboration between the SEQ stakeholders can continue with this funding.

“Water is key to lives and livelihoods,” Ms Chambers said.

“It’s vital we invest in continually improving water quality through horticultural best practices.

“This funding will ensure the good work Growcom has accomplished on the ground can further produce quality outcomes for industry and community alike.”

Minister Scanlon said the funding was allocated through the SEQ Investing in Our Environment for the Future Program 2022-25.

“The grant program is SEQ’s leading investment in water quality projects. It targets on-ground actions to reduce sediment, nutrient and pesticide emissions to waterways, Pumicestone Passage and Moreton Bay,” Minister Scanlon said.

“The department has been funding initiatives with key partners to research, improve, monitor and report on SEQ water quality for the past 20 years. I am delighted to announce this funding to continue these programs.”

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