We inspire and connect people with the evidence-based tools and on-ground action that will protect our natural
environment and support our economy for future generations. We have identified five priority areas for our work.
South East Queensland covers an area of around 23,000 km2, stretching from Noosa in the north to the Gold Coast in the south and west to the Great Dividing Range.
The way we use land in this area has a direct impact on our waterways and catchments, with one of the most serious impacts being sediment pollution.
Sediment pollution of our waterways is caused by soil erosion, and contains nutrients such as nitrogen, phospherous and carbon. When these enter freshwater and marine environments in large quantities, they can have a harmful affect on habitats and wildlife.
In rural areas, the major land use activity contributing to sediment pollution is grazing, followed by intensive agriculture and broad acre agriculture.
We provide services to aid land use and restoration.
The adoption of sustainable land practices will help to reduce many of the key pollutants entering waterways from rural sources. Through partnerships with agencies such as the Queensland Wetlands Program, Healthy Land and Water is helping build the capacity of land managers to adopt best management practices, including the sustainable management of waterbodies and the design of farm run-off treatment systems.
Examples of work:
Ipswich City Council – Laidley Valley Flood Recovery Project: Helping farmers recover from the impacts of the January 2013 floods by increasing the resilience of their land to future flood events.
Seqwater – Ling Landslip Remediation Project: The Ling property is a relatively small property in the Falls Creek catchment that has poor soils and steep slopes, and consequently suffers from extensive land slips that are severely impacting on the Baroon Pocket Dam.
Maroochydore Landcare Group and Seqwater – Maroochy FarmFLOW: Delivering water quality improvements in the Upper South Maroochy catchment, specifically the area above the Intake Weir and Poona Dam, by helping rural landholders improve the condition of their land and offering financial incentives.
Stormwater pollution affects our economy, the recreational value of our waterways, and the ecological health of the natural environment. When urban areas are developed, farmland and bushland are replaced with roads, roofs and footpaths. These create hard, impervious surfaces that prevent stormwater from infiltrating into the ground. Instead, pollutants like sediment, nutrients and litter are carried into stormwater drains that flow into our creeks, rivers, bays and ultimately the ocean.
To reduce the impact of stormwater, we must:
- Reduce the amount of impervious surfaces created in new urban designs
- Harvest stormwater from urban catchments and repurpose it for local communities as an alternative to traditional water sources
- Use stormwater treatment devices such as constructed wetlands and raingardens in new and existing urban areas. These can be attractive additions to the landscape, whilst filtering pollutants and slowing the flow of potentially damaging water.
Biodiversity is in decline around the world but we can all take actions to conserve our local wildlife, as well as the natural assets that support our lifestyles and economies.
Here in South East Queensland we are uniquely placed to make a real difference to the health of our native species and habitats. Native vegetation along our waterways, for example, is critical to the protection of creeks and rivers, while providing critical habitat for species, increased biodiversity and shading.
Managing livestock access and revegetating these waterways is therefore a key strategy for maintaining biodiversity.
At Healthy Land and Water we facilitate riparian revegetation activities among others, which involves the establishment of trees and shrubs on banks to offer protection from erosion and slumping, and vegetation on top of the bank to act as a sediment and nutrient filter.
These projects have a beneficial impact on terrestrial biodiversity around these waterways, while helping to reduce sediment pollution and therefore protecting aquatic and marine biodiversity as well.
Communities in South East Queensland are actively engaged in the management of their local environments, which reflects the many social, economic and lifestyle benefits that healthy landscapes and waterways provide.
Healthy Land and Water has therefore adopted a unique community-focused approach that strengthens our ability to influence the management of our natural assets and harnesses the passion communities have for their local environment.
Whether its recreation and tourism activities, positive health and wellbeing benefits, or increased livability of residential areas, the benefits that healthy land and water assets bring are many and varied.
The nature-based tourism industry for example is critical to our local economy, with 61% of all inbound visitors to Australia identifying nature-based activities as the key purpose of their visit*. These tourism and recreation activities are heavily reliant on healthy land and water assets.
*Tourism and Transport Forum, 2012
Healthy Land and Water has a strong focus on innovative solutions and applying the latest science and technology to on-ground projects.
Our science and knowledge is independent, respected and accessible, driving both policy development and on-ground projects, with real and tangible benefits for communities and ecosystems.
By synthesising the latest science, knowledge and on-ground expertise, we can better understand the condition of South East Queensland's natural assets, and offer innovative approaches to improve the health of our landscapes and waterways.