Clean up well under way in Murphys Creek region

WHILE it was hard for Murphys Creek residents to know where to start, the first debris clean up project got under way on Monday.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Flood Recovery, Senator Joe Ludwig visited Murphys Creek on Wednesday to discuss the clean up and broader progress on the community's rebuilding effort with landholders and project partners.

SEQ Catchments is working with the Helidon Hills Murphys Creek Landcare Group to restore the creek.

SEQ Catchments CEO Simon Warner said he was a Murphys Creek local and understood the importance of the clean up.

“We will be focusing on debris removal and stabilising the creeks, dealing with the weeds as we go,” Mr Warner said.

“We have done a lot of planning in regard to where to start now that we have the funding and once we have started we hope that the funding will keep coming in. It's important that we show the people that there is work being done.

“We have received funding from the Federal Government for $400,000 so that gets us started but the original budget for the project is $1.7 million.”

Mr Warner said there are many landholders issuing requests for work to be done but in many places the waterway has changed forever.

“My place is a perfect example of this. We used to have waterholes with platypus living in them and now they are gone,” he said.

“These have been replaced by new waterholes and in time and with more restoration the wildlife will return to the area.

“When we start restoring the creek it won't be like fixing a house.

“Some places simply won't be the same ever again.

“A lot of landholders are worried they have lost fencelines and land sometimes a building or sediment has been dumped on their property.

“In most cases we can work with landholders and it's amazing how quick the land can recover if it is given the time to do so.”

Senator Ludwig said the issues in flood affected communities were to do with more than just the clean up.

“Today I was given the opportunity to see firsthand the impacts of recent flooding in the Lockyer Valley, in particular, here at Murphys Creek,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Not only were people and their livelihoods affected, the flooding eroded creek banks, caused landslips, damaged infrastructure, resulted in loss of topsoil and changed stream banks.

“The recovery and rebuilding efforts are well under way, both in terms of the community and the environment.

“It is good to see the community working together, with the support of the Australian Government to restore the important natural assets and productive agricultural land.”

“The Landcare group will be cleaning up the creek by working with landholders to fence off riparian areas, control weeds, and replant and regenerate native vegetation,” Minister Ludwig said.

The work is funded by the Australian and Queensland governments and Lockyer Regional Council, and managed by SEQ Catchments.

“This work is a first step towards the recovery of the natural assets in the Lockyer Valley,” Minister Ludwig said.

The $8 million national disaster package includes money for $400,000 for environmental recovery in south east Queensland.

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