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Makeover to Small Creek boosts Bremer River health

A big project to restore Small Creek in Ipswich is helping improve the health of the Bremer River.

The latest Healthy Land and Water annual waterway health Report Card found water quality in the Bremer River improved slightly in 2018.

The improvement is being credited to a reduction in the amount of pollutants entering the waterway and upstream restoration projects.

The restoration of Small Creek is one of several waterway improvement projects taking place in Ipswich and is complemented by the recent release of the Bremer River Catchment Action Plan 2018-2021 which details further opportunities for improvement.

The creek was once a meandering natural stream that flowed into Deebing Creek and onto the Bremer River, but in the 1980s it was turned into a concrete drain.

Ipswich City Council launched a project to reinstate Small Creek as a natural waterway to provide cleaner water for the community, habitat for wildlife, improved footpath and bikeway connections and the opportunity for residents to enjoy a natural waterway in their neighbourhood.

Community input has been central to the project, with a Design Your Creek Week event as well as individual stakeholder meetings informing the design process.

Wildlife is making the most of the rejuvenated Small Creek.

A section of Small Creek before works started.

Ipswich City Council Waterway Improvement Officer and Small Creek project manager, Ben Walker, said returning the waterway to a natural creek would have significant benefits for the community.

“It not only improves the aesthetics of the creek, but it will also reduce air temperatures around the creek corridor, improve habitat conditions for native fish and birdlife and lead to better water quality outcomes,” he said.

“Stage one of the Small Creek project is complete with works currently underway on stage two.

“This is a project that is not only having an impact on the local environment now, but will continue to have a positive influence for generations to come.

“There is still significant work to be done to lift the overall rating of the Bremer River Catchment, but it is encouraging to see a slight improvement on last year’s results.”

Healthy Land and Water CEO Julie McLellan congratulated Ipswich City Council for its proactive action to restore Small Creek and said the project was a model for the future.

“By identifying potential creek rehabilitation sites, like Small Creek, we increase our chances of creating an emotional connection between local communities and their waterways,” she said.

“This connection ultimately motivates them to care for and protect their local waterways into the future.”

The Bremer received a D+ rating in this year’s Report Card.

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