SEQ Healthy Waterways Strategy
The South-East Queensland Regional Water Quality Management Strategy underlying South-East Queensland’s Healthy Waterways Program was a joint Federal, State and local Government initiative covering the south-east Queensland region, including coastal waters, estuaries and freshwater streams from Noosa to the Gold Coast and west to the Great Dividing Range. The area included 15 major catchments with a combined catchment area of approximately 22,352 km2 and includes 19 local government areas. The Strategy was implemented in response to population increases in the region having the potential to seriously impact on the ecological and economic health of its waterways and land catchments through processes of nutrient, sediment and toxicant releases.
Lloyd Consulting was appointed Project Manager of the Strategy and was responsible for coordinating government, industry and community stakeholders in developing the Strategy. The aim of the Strategy is to protect and enhance the social, economic and environmental values of the region and forms part of the South-East Queensland Regional Framework for Growth Management 1998 and Queensland’s state-wide ecologically sustainable use of water resources.
The project initially focused on urban areas in the lower catchment, marine and estuarine areas of the Moreton Region, and then expanded to encompass the freshwater catchment areas of the Moreton region, incorporating the north (Noosa, Maroochy and Mooloolah) and south (Logan, Albert and Gold Coast) regions.
The collaborative approach managed by Lloyd Consulting was a key characteristic of the Strategy’s development. Based on strong local political leadership and advocacy, it has allowed the development of an effective, “whole of community” organisational approach to preparation of an action plan to protect and enhance water quality and ecological/economic sustainability in the region.
Key skills contributed to the project by Lloyd Consulting included contract, financial, Steering Committee and project team management, stakeholder liaison, project advocacy and publication/ report development management.
Monitoring of river health across Qld indicates that the percentage of site considered to be in good condition has increased since 2001. The “Healthy Waterways” project has been recognised by Land and Water Australia as a national “model” for waterway and natural resource management programs and research has been commissioned into its “transferability” to other regions.