Environmental restoration program comes to life as Energex and Sunshine Coast Council join forces
  • Wednesday 25 September 2019

(from left to right: Energex Acting Area Manager Rick Davis, Mayor Mark Jamieson, Kabi Kabi Elder Tais K’Reala Randanpi, Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton, and Energy Minster Dr Anthony Lynham.)

Thousands of native trees and shrubs will be planted on more than 60 acres of land across the Sunshine Coast as Energex and Sunshine Coast Council partner once again on a joint offsets program.

Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham joined Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson and Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton at Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve today (September 25) to inspect the first of four sites to benefit from this program.

The partnership, which will deliver more than $1.5 million worth of tree planting and ecological restoration work in the region, is associated with the Suncoast Power Project delivered by Energex.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said partnerships like this are one way of enabling the region to accommodate growth in a manner that is sensitive to the natural environment and preserves the region’s enviable lifestyle.

“Ensuring our outstanding environmental assets and the community’s lifestyle are preserved well into the future are major priorities for our council and this is why this environmental offset partnership with Energex is so important,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Our council is pleased to facilitate and manage the on-ground delivery of these environmental offsets, in partnership with Energex, over the next five years.

“Through both bush regeneration and revegetation, we will work with Energex to restore essential habitats for several threatened native species, including koalas, tusked frogs and the Richmond birdwing butterfly.

“The restored vegetation in these reserves will also help to build habitat corridors, so wildlife can move amongst these reserves and better adapt to their living environment.”

Dr Lynham said the partnership was a win for the region and will offset vegetation that had to be removed to allow for an electricity upgrade on the Sunshine Coast.

“This will mean significant ecological restoration work across the region to offset the necessary clearing for essential infrastructure,” Dr Lynham said.

“Construction of the 132KV powerline between Palmwoods and the West Maroochydore substation is underway with three of the eight sections of the project well advanced and full completion expected late 2020.

“The powerline project is supporting dozens of jobs and is critical to keeping up with the energy needs of a growing Sunshine Coast.

“The corridor required some clearing, but Energex is making a significant commitment to restoring and offsetting those environmental impacts with this joint initiative with council.”

Areas to benefit from the environmental restoration project are within four council managed reserves, including Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve, South Eudlo Environmental Reserve, Coes Creek Riparian Reserve and Paynters Creek Riparian Reserve.

On-ground work for the five-year project has recently commenced with completion expected in late 2024.

Sunshine Coast Council and Energex previously joined forces in 2013 to restore a 74-acre pocket of degraded bushland in the London Creek Environmental Reserve at Peachester.