One stretch of the Brisbane River.
One stretch of the Brisbane River. Troy Kippen

Councils and state work together on Resilient Rivers

FIVE councils and the State Government will work together to improve the Brisbane river's health, but the State Government cannot say how much the program will cost.

The Resilient Rivers program will allow the State Government to work alongside the Ipswich, Brisbane, Lockyer, Somerset and Scenic Rim councils to manage the river.

It is the first time governments have attempted to manage the river together.

The plan aims to prevent water treatment plants becoming clogged with silt during floods - as happened to the Mt Crosby plant in the 2013 flood.

However, state ministers could not answer how much the program would cost the Queensland taxpayer.

Environment Minister Andrew Powell said the government would spend existing funds on the program, which he said was about $10 million, before looking for new funding.

"How long is a piece of string, I think is the answer," he said.

"Certainly we're, as a State Government, to ensure all our money that has been going into the Brisbane River catchment now comes through this initiative - the Brisbane River Improvement Trust.

"We want to use the existing funds wisely first. If we need additional funding then that's something that we would consider on the state level."

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said keeping soil on farms would help farmers.

"Unfortunately there have been too many groups with too many plans, which has resulted in some short-term wins nut no real long-term gains," he said.

"In the Lockyer Valley we must work to keep the dirt on the paddock and out of the waterways, so our farming land remains productive and our water supply does not get compromised again."

Mr Powell said the 2011 and 2013 floods had caused different governments to realise the need to work together to care for the river.

- APN NEWSDESK


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