10 August, 2011

Look what they've done to Tenthill Creek

Like many others, I am trying to raise awareness of what is happening in SEQ to the riparian zones since the January flood.

I received this information and photos from a concerned resident in the Lockyer Valley who has been trying to prevent the Lockyer Valley Regional Council from clearing the whole of Tenthill Creek.

Much of the Lockyer Valley catchment has been cleared for farming purposes in the last 30 years, leaving very little natural vegetation in creeks.

Since the January flood the green light has been given to clear Black Fellows Creek (20 klms already cleared) and parts of Tenthill Creek,

I understand significant parts of Murphy's and Flagstone Creeks are also being cleared.

The Council appears to have very little understanding of how creek flood mitigation works. There is some hysteria, I suspect as an excuse and no real guidance has been provided by hydrologists.

The Lockyer Valley Regional Council (LVRC) and other Govt agencies have acted like environmental vandals.

Some Lockyer Valley residents have demanded creeks be cleared of vegetation in their submissions to the Flood Inquiry.

The Council and some farmers seem to have little or no interest in the protection or maintenance of creek riparian zones in this region. It has been reported that local farmers say all vegetation in creeks is rubbish and they want creeks maintained like drains.

This creates barren wastelands where creek eco systems should be. This week, Mayor Steve Jones said the Flood Inquiry Commission has requested a plan be produced to ensure all flood debris be removed from creeks in the Lockyer Valley before the next wet season. He also said he thought this was the most important recommendation to come out of the Inquiry (Gatton Star 3 August 2011).

I think this means bulldozers will be entering all the creeks in the Lockyer Valley/SEQ and clearing them wholesale. With the Flood Commission apparently providing no provisions for the protection of the riparian zones or common sense, creeks in the Lockyer Valley are likely to all turn into long, dusty drains. Fast running creeks during flooding can cause serious erosion, flash flooding further downstream and significant silting of weirs.

I can't believe this is happening in 2011, when there is so much knowledge about the effects of land clearing on stream quality and of the need to maintain natural creek beds to slow down heavy creeks flows, particularly in upper and middle catchments. Are you interested in doing something, to counter the push to turn SEQ creeks into dirt drains?

I'm interested in raising the issue more publically.

It breaks my heart to see what bulldozers have already done.

I can't imagine what is coming if LVRC have Govt sanction to 'clean up the creeks of debris' before the next wet season.

There is good sensible legislation in place to protect riparian zones in Qld which is not being explained or enforced.

This is what it used to look like:

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    So what you or the concerned local will need to do is contact the council who they believe is responsible for the alleged clearing n ask them for what purpose it was conducted. I refer to section 7.3.1 of the commission of inquiry interim report (http://www.floodcommission.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/8781/QFCI-Interim-Report-August-2011.pdf). It states that the Locker Valley Regional Council should immediately develop a plan for the removal of debris. If they have conducted clearing under a debris removal plan, they would have needed to gain approval from DERM to remove existing live vegetation in line with section 7.3.1. So basically the local council (Lockyer Valley Regional Council) is the first line of contact as to why this is occurring and whether it will be left in this condition.