'Creek restorations won't work'

WORKS TO CLEAR debris from creeks in the Mt Sylvia area have concerned residents and local environmental groups.
WORKS TO CLEAR debris from creeks in the Mt Sylvia area have concerned residents and local environmental groups.

RESTORATION works at Blackfellow Creek have been criticised for the possibility that the clearing will make future floods worse.

SEQ Catchments has expressed concern at restoration works being undertaken at Blackfellow and Left Hand Creek in the Lockyer Valley.

A report by SEQ Catchments into the problems with restoration works on Blackfellow Creek said the works would not future proof the catchments from future flood damage and have decreased resilience to erosion.

“For a community severely affected by floods, the works give the impression of ‘doing something’, ‘cleaning’ up the problem (i.e. the Creek) and reducing flood duration in the immediate area,” the report said.

“In SEQ Catchments’ view this is a simplistic and perhaps populist perception that is unfortunately misleading.

“The state should learn from the Mt Sylvia Road-Blackfellow Creek restoration works to ensure the same serious negative externalities do not arise in future restoration works.”

Queensland Conservation Chair, Simon Baltais said the restoration works would not be beneficial in future floods.

“River and creek rehabilitation must take account of future floods and not be a quick fix that makes the problem worse in the future,” he said.

“Engineering works that have been allowed to take place at Blackfellows and Left Hand Creek in the Lockyer Valley, will harm ecosystems, increase stream velocity and erosion and impact upon downstream communities.

“These works were carried out in March and April, and despite numerous complaints, have not been rectified by authorities. It’s time that proper rehabilitation works were instigated before the next wet season.

Lockyer Valley Regional Mayor Steve Jones said council was still prioritising the removal of debris from the creeks in the region.

“We think it’s very important this material is taken out of the creek, but we must mention that we at council never asked to do anything with the banks,” he said.

“We are talking about the removal of logs and debris left by the flood.”

Cr Jones said the works at Left Hand Branch was being undertaken by RoadTek and was not a council project.

“What council is focussing on is the removal of logs, because in some places we are seeing some large logs that will be a problem,” he said.

“I saw a very large log on the banks of the creek, particularly on the banks in Helidon and these logs in the event of a flood cause a lot of destruction, which is why we need to get them out of the creeks.”

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