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Time to have a say on changes to Draft Noosa River Plan

Residents are invited to have a say on the revised Draft Noosa River Plan from today.

Community input from the first consultation in 2018 has helped shape the revised draft.

Environment and Sustainable Development Director Kim Rawlings said it was an important blueprint to maintain Noosa River’s health and improve biodiversity.

“Residents want an even stronger emphasis on protecting the river’s social, cultural and economic benefits to the community and that’s been answered in the latest draft,” she said.

The new draft has also been amended to align with Council’s new Environment Strategy.

“We’ve incorporated a new section specifically on managing the river mouth, plus we’ve given litter management a stronger focus, as the community told us during the consultation they wanted it made a priority,” Ms Rawlings said.

“We’ll be working toward a goal of zero litter entering the river.

“The previous feedback on the first draft generally backed Council’s efforts and reinforced the community’s unwavering interest in protecting the river as a valuable natural, social and economic asset.”

The draft plan calls for Council to continue to advocate for the State Government to improve the way it manages the river, or hand over some areas of responsibility to Council.

Mayor Tony Wellington said Council’s advocacy efforts so far had resulted in, last Friday, an announcement by Maritime Safety Queensland that, as of this Christmas, MSQ will have a permanent presence on the Noosa River.

“They will be patrolling the river and looking at all of the management issues under their jurisdiction such as water craft use including safety, mooring, anchoring, living-on-board and abandoned hulks as well as illegal dumping of effluent in the waterway,” he said.

“This is a fantastic result for the community and is a big tick on a number of the objectives of the Draft River Plan,” the Mayor said.

“In many ways it is also the end result of concerted lobbying by Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton and myself.”

Ms Rawlings added: “We know that, in spite of the river’s A- minus rating in the latest Healthy Waterways report card, the waterway is under stress.

“The Ruth Thurstan historical report recognised Noosa River was once far more biodiverse than it is now, while the recent Skilleter report shows the river bed biota, an important part of the aquatic food web, has diminished.

“There is significant work to do despite the fact Noosa River is a reasonably healthy waterway by south-east Queensland standards.

“The draft plan gives emphasis to achieving commercial fishing reforms including a beam trawl licence buy-back,” Ms Rawlings said.

Other issues tackled include programs to help prevent sediment run-off and stormwater pollution and strategies to improve community-based water quality monitoring. It also covers protection of important habitats for the migratory shorebirds and marine turtles that visit our shores each year.

Visit Council's YourSay Noosa website to review and comment on the latest Draft Noosa River Plan, until January 13, 2020.

3 December 2019

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