Future development, threatened plant and animal species and declining report card grades have kept the Pumicestone Passage front and centre with all eyes trained on improving the environmental statistics for this valuable 45km waterway.
Well, keep watching—council launched a three-year rehabilitation project on the southern bank of Bells Creek today that will restore 30 hectares of riparian habitat in this key Pumicestone Passage catchment.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the major $450k rehabilitation project is funded by the Environment Levy and is a key action from the three-year Pumicestone Passage and Catchment Action Plan.
“The Pumicestone Passage is not only a key recreation area, it provides rich, diverse and valuable habitat for a number of species, including the endangered water mouse found earlier this year during Environment Levy fauna surveys,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We are 100% committed to protecting and enhancing our natural assets and that means reducing the impact development and everyday living has on our environment—it’s about getting the balance right and taking care of tomorrow today.”
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said this is another great example of the Environment Levy in action.
“The threats to our environment are dynamic and diverse and we always need to be ahead of the game. The Environment Levy allows us to anticipate and evaluate environmental threats and act accordingly,” Cr McKay said.
Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski said the project aims to improve riparian habitat for threatened plants and animals and buffer future threats posed by population growth, development and agriculture.
“The project involves weed eradication and plantings along a 7km stretch of Bells Creek—reducing the weed species in the creek will help the natural regeneration of native species and planting over 7500 plants will enhance this riparian corridor,” Cr Baberowski said.
“This project is very much a partnership with private landowners along the creek. They have given us access to their properties and have become champions for maintaining water quality and habitat in this important Pumicestone Passage catchment.