A plan of action for Pumicestone Passage

27 March, 2014
Author: Charles Hodgson

At today’s Ordinary Meeting, Sunshine Coast Council endorsed in principle the _Pumicestone Passage and Catchment Action Plan 2013 __– _2016.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said Pumicestone Passage is an important catchment in the region with significant agricultural land important to the economy, a Ramsar listed wetland of international significance, and State designated areas including a Marine Park, Fish Habitat Area and High Ecological Value.
“Pumicestone Passage is also an invaluable aquatic playground for the local community and visitors to the region who value the catchment’s recreational and environmental values,” Cr McKay said.
Division 2 Councillor Tim Dwyer said the plan is a catchment and estuary management plan for the highly valued environmental, social and economic assets of Pumicestone Passage.
“Managing the catchment is a complex task, with many custodians responsible for the diverse land and water zones,” Cr Dwyer said.
“We’ve worked in collaboration with government groups, private landholders, the development industry and numerous agricultural stakeholders including pineapple, strawberry, turf, avocado, forestry and chicken farmers.
Cr Dwyer said the cooperation and collaboration between government groups, farmers and the community has been underpinned by the common goal to protect the natural assets of the Pumicestone Passage.
“The multifaceted Pumicestone Passage should never be underestimated as it is an important cog in our history, environment and our economy.”
Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski said Sunshine Coast Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council jointly led the planning process for the development of the Action Plan.
“The foundation of the Action Plan is an integrated approach that has successfully drawn together the aspirations of a wide range of stakeholders and custodians,” Cr Baberowski said.
“The plan has provided an opportunity to align the considerable work council undertakes on the catchment area with complementary work by many other stakeholders.
“A list of 41 actions is identified in the plan to manage the challenges faced by the catchment over the next three years.
“Implementation will be coordinated through the successful community governance approach, with an emphasis on cooperation and regular communication between action partners and all stakeholders.”
Cr Baberowski said Sunshine Coast Council has the lead on nine specific actions to implement and planning has already started on a project to rehabilitate 7km of Bells Creek within the next twelve months.
“Council’s commitment to maintaining the natural assets of Pumicestone Passage is a very real example of council striving to make the region the most sustainable place in Australia – a sustainable economy, environment and community.”