Councils collaborate in mass tree planting

A South East Queensland council on a mission to plant a million trees in ten years has collaborated with landowners and a neighbouring council in a mass tree-planting initiative along the Logan River.

Mayor Greg Christensen

The Logan River project, spearheaded by Scenic Rim and Logan councils, has seen 4,500 native trees planted along a stretch of river between Woodhill and Allenview near the NSW border in a bid to reduce sediment loss, protect against severe weather events and improve the health of Moreton Bay.

The work forms part of the Resilient Rivers Initiative engineered by the Council of South East Queensland Mayors which seeks a co-ordinated approach to restoring the health of waterways in the state’s south-east corner.

The Logan River has “copped a battering in recent” years, including damage from Cyclone Debbie in 2017, which caused eight metres of river bank to collapse and deposited silt in lower parts of the river and Moreton Bay, Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor Greg Christensen says.

He says the tree planting project is a textbook example of councils and community working together to achieve results.

“At the end of the day, rivers and floods don’t recognise council boundaries, nor does silt, and what the community is looking for is the leadership that cares about their future and their environment,” he told Government News.

Councils have collaborated to plant 4,500 native trees along the Logan River.

“This planting will play a critical role in revitalising the riverbank and securing it against future weather events.”

Cr Christensen said the project was co-funded by ten downstream councils who contributed $2 per ratepayer each. The trees were provided by Scenic Rim’s own nursery and supplemented by local native growers.

Another 3,000 trees are set to be planted along the Logan River in coming months.

“We’ve got an ambitious program to plant a million trees over this ten year period so this ties in nicely,” Cr Christensen says.

“We believe that’s an important way to preserve, protect, and restore our waterways. Most of that program is being delivered by partnership with landowners, so doing it as part of Resilient Rivers is a natural alignment with that objective.

“That engagement between community and government is really important for these programs to be successful. All of the Resilient Rivers projects have a similar mantra, in that they involve the councils working with the landowners to deliver stronger outcomes.”

He said he’d like to see the model adopted more widely by regions facing challenges around water and water security, and supported by state and federal funding.

The Resilient Rivers Initiative was created in 2014, and a 10-year strategy for improving the health and resilience of South East Queensland catchments, Rivers and Moreton Bay was released the following year.

The strategy aims to have the catchments of SEQ supporting a “resilient, productive, liveable and growing region” by 2045.

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