Waterways give returns
  • Last updated:
  • 16 Aug 2018

The Sunshine Coast Council area has 12,000 Km in length including lower stream orders, with our creeks and rivers covering 3,700km across our five major catchments.

There are many thousands of residents that have the direct benefits of having parts of these waterways in their lives though where they live, work or play. 

Our waterways are the veins of life across our region through the water they carry and to the many environmental benefits they support through the riparian zone.  

However like any living thing it needs to be healthy to survive. You can assist our waterways in particular your section of waterway entering your property by implementing some actions?

The first thing that anyone can do is log on to SCC MyMaps.

This site allows you to develop a map for your property by clicking on relevant information layers like biota (relevant plants species that would have been on the land pre European), contour lines and much more.  

This information will allow you to develop a good desk top map of your property. From this you can start to develop and personalise your waterway plan.

Principles to improve or protect a waterway.

  • Off stream watering (keeping stock out of a waterway protects the banks from degrading). This is one of the best practices that you can do. Not only will it give the waterway protection it is beneficial for stock health and well-being.
  • Fencing of a waterway if you have stock. This works in conjunction with off stream watering. Keep fences outside plant drip lines, bank erosion has occurred by fences post being placed too close to a river bank.
  • If you have no stock on your property, minimise human impact. Have a favourite spot and identify the impact area, e.g. 3 metre wide area, not on a vertical back as it may be undercut which could be a safety risk.
  • Know your weeds and prioritise their removal. Remember vines can impact an area very quickly as well as specific invasive plants.
  • If you have any modified drainage lines that enter a waterway from your or neighbouring properties, make sure you manage the entering water velocities. If water enters too quickly it can damage the entering bank and in some cases the opposite bank.
  • If you are going to enhance your riparian area, wide is good. A single row of trees is not a riparian area. Develop a structure planting, small ground covers, small shrubs and lomandra plants are good near the bank. Plant trees that will have weight further back from the bank to minimise future slumping. If you were to look under the soil we want a healthy mix of fine fibrous roots with strong structure roots in the mix.

These are just some very quick points, if you have serious erosion in your waterway seek professional advice as there are laws and guidelines that need to be address working in stream.

The State has officers that can provide advice and information can be found on government web sites.

There have been maybe projects and articles and factsheets developed to protect our waterways over many decades and this information really doesn’t date. Please use some of the links below to find further information. 

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