Monday, June 27, 2022
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Blue Heart beats from strength to strength

Our Blue Heart once again performed the job that it is intended to do during the recent severe weather events, with the project area providing critical flood storage on the Maroochy River floodplain. 

Preserving such areas is critical to the ongoing flood management of the catchment and surrounding built environment.

The significance of our Blue Heart project to the Sunshine Coast was further reinforced this week when all three tiers of government confirmed their commitment through the South East Queensland (SEQ) City Deal for the council-led project, which is being run in collaboration with Unitywater and the State Government.

Covering an area of more than 5000 hectares, the Blue Heart is an innovative partnership-based project, committed to sustainable and adaptive floodplain management.  

“Everyone who has ever lived in the catchment and on the floodplain – from the Kabi Kabi peoples to the landowners today – know this area has significant environmental and natural flood plain characteristics,” Mayor Mark Jamieson said.  

“During the recent deluge, the area temporarily stored floodwater before slowly releasing it, which lowered the impacts on downstream urban coastal communities.

“Since launching our Blue Heart project in July 2019 in an Australian-first tripartite initiative, the project has become an example of council’s strategic management of a regional flood storage area.

Division 9 and Environment and Liveability portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said the integrated outcomes from the Blue Heart project were plentiful.

“Our Blue Heart is also providing opportunities to showcase responsible land and water management and delivery of exemplary environmental, social and economic outcomes as the floodplain transitions from predominantly rural lands to estuarine ecosystems due to climate change and projected sea-level rise,” Cr Suarez said.

“While the details of the SEQ City Deal commitment still need to be worked through, it is our council’s expectation that this will enable our council and its partners to continue its efforts to preserve this critical floodplain for its intended purpose and deliver a range of integrated outcomes.”

“This includes the establishment of further estuarine wetland habitats, research towards improving water quality, exploring economic opportunities associated with carbon farming, plus developing sport and recreation opportunities such as walking trails our community can access and enjoy.

“As we have always done, council will continue to work with landholders and local communities to build economic and environmental resilience and support adaptation as the project proceeds.”

To find out more about Blue Heart, visit council’s website: sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/blueheart.

Image: Maroochy River – Photo credit A.BOWEN.

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