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Restoring waterways

PICTURE: From concrete drain to restored ecosystem, this is an example of what can be achieved when we admit that errors of judgement can have poor environmental outcomes.  Picture credit: ABC TV Gardening Australia

Waterway restoration – a template for other creeks
Jerry Colby-Williams reports that a project on a creek that was considered a drain is building a sanctuary for wildlife and the community.
(Gardening Australia.  Series 34 / Episode 14, 19 May 2023)

THE NORMAN CREEK flowing through Brisbane’s Hanlon Park/Bur’uda used to be a sterile concrete drain until a Brisbane City Council project ripped out the concrete and returned it to being a natural ecosystem. It’s the biggest creek naturalisation project in Australia, to date.

Engineers 100 years ago had one focus – getting the water away as quickly as possible to avoid flooding, explains environmental engineer Alan Hoban, who was involved with the restoration. But the local community thought it could be more than a concrete drain and advocated for its improvement. 

Could this be a template for the restoration of concrete ‘drains’ around the Lake Mac LGA? Winding Creek would be a good place to re-imagine an ecosystem thriving with native plants and habitat for native insects, birds, lizards, and other small native animals – who don’t feel welcome as it currently stands. Munibung Creek and other waterways flowing from Munibung Hill could also be restored at least in part before they enter Lake Macquarie.

MMM … Issue 38, June – July 2023