Production set to recover in flood affected parts of SEQ

Many farmers across the Fassifern and Lockyer faced extensive damage during the January 2013 floods, with many struggling to get their properties back into production.

SEQ Catchments has been working with almost 50 landholders in this nationally important food bowl, to strengthen the resilience of the creeks in these catchments to future flooding.

The project is supported by funding through the State Government’s On-farm Productivity and Riparian Recovery Program along with some federal funding,

Last month Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, the Honourable Andrew Cripps, visited one of the focus areas along Laidley Creek in the Laidley Valley.

“We are working closely with landholders, the Lockyer Regional Council and SEQ Catchments to better understand how flood waters behave in watercourses and on floodplains during significant flood events.” Mr Cripps said.

This project brings together experts to assess the degradation of the creek system and provide advice on best management practices for production on floodplains.

“We are also working to build up a broader catchment and restoration plan, involving local knowledge, aimed at bringing good agricultural land back into production.

“It is important that we get primary producers back into production, communities back on their feet, and actively build up farm and landscape resilience ahead of any future flood events,” he said.

Strengthening these badly eroded areas to minimise the threat to further loss of land has been a priority.

SEQ Catchments project manager, Jessica Walker, says efforts have so far focused around hydraulic modelling, tailored farm management plans, a Reach Restoration Plan as well as restoration of two sites along Laidley Creek.

“It is important to think of the catchment as a whole system and how different management practices may play a role in how the floodplain behaves during a flood,” she said.

“We’ve been working with farmers in the area on tailored plans for individual properties, to help them make better informed on-farm decisions and assess their impacts in the broader floodplain landscape.”

The Reach Restoration Plan is bringing together input from across the community, and is a working document to inform and guide works to increase resilience to flood flows in the area.

“Some of things we found were that the creek had widened significantly following the floods and that there is the potential for continual widening and deepening, and in event of a future flood which could prove disastrous, with further loss of land and infrastructure.”

“Works are now being implemented in two locations of the Laidley Valley in the Lockyer region, including a stretch of the creek behind Mulgowie hotel. This will increase the stability up to 1km from the site, as well as around the immediate vicinity and Mulgowie Bridge which sits close by.”

This project is coordinated by SEQ Catchments and funded from the State Government’s On-farm Productivity and Riparian Recovery Program, which forms part of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.