A marriage of convenience
  • Thursday 09 October 2008

Celebrating a successful ten-year partnership, Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland Corrective Services and Petrie Creek Catchment Care Group hosted a celebratory tree planting in Petrie Creek Park today.

The partnership, which utilises the community service scheme, enables offenders serving community based orders to complete environmental rehabilitation works instead of jail time.

Council purchases resources through this scheme in the form of work hours. This is more cost effective for council’s ratepayers and offenders can put something of value back into their communities.

Division 10 Councillor Paul Tatton said that in 1998 the Nambour Chamber of Commerce approached council to undertake a clean up of the area around the weir, adjacent to Quota Park.

“Thinking outside the box, council approached Queensland Corrective Services to initiate a program that supported mutual goals. This innovative move has led to a successful partnership which extends across a number of reserves and catchments,” Cr Tatton said.

“In the ten years the Petrie Creek partnership has been in effect, more than 25,000 trees have been planted, around 70 hectares weeded and close to 26,000 hours of community service utilised.

“Council saves thousands of dollars each year using this arrangement, freeing up money for additional projects.

“It is also a great way for offenders to return something back to the community.

“In the Nambour area alone the scheme is responsible for improved access to Petrie Creek, improved water quality within the creek and extensive revegetation works and stabilisation of embankments.

“The area’s biodiversity has also improved as a result of this newly established wildlife corridor,” Cr Tatton said.