BELLS CREEK RIPARIAN RESTORATION PROJECT
The Bells Creek riparian area from Jensen Park to the Pelican Waters Golf Course is under threat. There is serious erosion along the banks of the creek which is caused by south-easterly winds, high velocity flows during flooding as well as wave action from boats travelling up to 40 knots.
Stormwater run off from new developments along the creek is carrying fertilisers that contaminates the water flowing into Pumicestone Passage. This impacts the water quality in the Passage.
The Australian Government through the National Landcare Program has provided funding through Healthy Land & Water to help restore this fragile and precious riparian area. The Sunshine Coast Council, TAPP and Henzells Group are also engaged in the project.
The project aims to build resilience and engage local landholders and recreational users of Bells Creek in the stewardship of this relatively intact High Conservation Value area.
The increasing population is putting pressure on the riparian area that is within the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland.
A full Cultural Heritage survey has been conducted by the Kabi Kabi First Nation as part of this project which will underpin the Management Plan that is being develop in stage 2 of the project.
Lot 431 Development
Stormwater from this location drains to Bells Creek via four infiltration basins. This has reduced the buffer between the development and water ultimately entering Pumicestone Passage, with the possibility of presenting a higher risk of contamination and pollution entry to the Passage. The receiving wetland is potentially at risk of inundation for a longer period of time following wet weather and may be a greater habitat for mosquito breeding which could ultimately create a potential health risk and a further responsibility for the Sunshine coast council.
The development received approval through the “Land and Environment Court” following Council reluctance to approve initial development plans. Original development plans were to drain through the Southern Lakes Canal network but were not sequenced with the development of Southern Lakes. This was the reason approval allowed for drainage directly into Bells Creek.
In alignment with TAPP’s objectives, our organisation has advocated to council engineers to attempt to have best practice adhered to in regard to storm water runoff from this development. Concerns were raised of potential suboptimal management of run off and refuse.