Practical catchment management and collaborative planning have contributed to an “excellent” A- rating for Pumicestone Passage in the 2017 Healthy Land and Water Report Card.
Division 2 Councillor Tim Dwyer praised the achievements of the Pumicestone Catchment Network — a group of 25 active community, industry and government organisations working together to improve the health of the passage and its catchment.
The Pumicestone Passage was rated B- in the 2015 report card and B+ last year.
“The Pumicestone Passage is an incredibly important waterway that takes in the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains, Bribie Island and the Regional Inter-Urban Break,” Cr Dwyer said.
“It is also home to about 60,000 people and supports regionally significant forestry and farming industries.
“While we know that low rainfall has helped with our good results this year, council is also contributing to better catchment water quality through projects such as the vegetated stormwater infiltration basin at Golden Beach and water quality improvement works at the Caloundra Landfill.
“This year’s results continue to demonstrate the significant environmental outcomes that can be achieved by taking a collaborative approach to improving water quality.
Earlier this year, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay councils, on behalf of the Pumicestone Catchment Network, adopted a new plan to improve the health of the passage.
The plan commits to 32 actions for the 2017–2020 period designed to:
· Improve water quality;
· Enhance habitats and biodiversity;
· Increase industry benefits and stewardship;
· Increase community benefits and stewardship; and
· Strengthen our knowledge, planning and advocacy
Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski was equally supportive of the plan and the approach adopted by industry, community, state and local government for the benefit of the passage.
“The incredibly diverse habitats in the Pumicestone Passage sustain regional fisheries, marine turtles, dugong and more bird species than Kakadu,” Cr Baberowski said.
“In September this year, council adopted the Sunshine Coast Environment and Liveability Strategy, which sets the goal and strategic directions to achieve consistently good to excellent ecological health across our river catchments by 2041.
“While seasonal factors can influence results, we have a robust plan to address local issues impacting on the health of the passage and its catchment over the long term.
“We should all be incredibly proud of the outcomes we have collectively achieved this year, and the ongoing efforts to improve the health of passage for future generations.”