Rockhampton Regional Council is a proud Reef Guardian Council.
The Rockhampton Region includes extensive wetlands, creeks and river systems covering some 407km2 or 6% of our total area. The Fitzroy River is the region’s major waterway and the largest river catchment flowing to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.
The Reef Guardian Council stewardship program recognises the good environmental work councils and communities are doing to help the Great Barrier Reef. Each year the council reviews its activities and produces an Action Plan and Highlights to promote the positive outcomes and its commitment to a better future for the Great Barrier Reef.
View the Rockhampton Regional Council Reef Guardian Action Plan 2017-2018.
Reef Guardian Highlights 2016-2017
Recreational Fishing Strategy
Council adopted the Rockhampton Recreation Fishing Development Strategy after the declaration of a Net Free Zone (NFZ) over the lower Fitzroy. The strategy addresses improvements to marine infrastructure, marketing activities, business development, better fisheries management practices and improvements to the freshwater and saltwater ecology / environment so as to increase recreational fishing across the Rockhampton Region. Importantly, the Recreational Fishing and Development Strategy includes a Fisheries Management Plan to manage and protect the fishery and catchment health as well as monitor and forecast seasonal stocks.
Marine Debris Artwork
Council was successful in obtaining funding from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to commission a local artist to embark on a novel marine debris public art project. Single use plastic bottles were identified in a recent Marine Debris Workshop as one of the main items of litter found in litter clean-up activities. The artwork is installed at our Region’s largest Waste Management Facility to further promote that ‘our waste is not just a load of rubbish’ and that the use of single use packaging can be avoided. The sculpture was created using plastic bottles collected from a local café and provided by the Material Recovery Facility.
FRW initiatives achieving energy efficiencies
Fitzroy River Water completed projects to improve and maximise energy efficiency in their operational performance. Installation of new energy efficient pumps and motors at Glenmore High Lift Water Pump Station and Authur St Sewerage Pump Station achieved approximately 27% and 16% improvements respectively. The installation of new energy efficient positive displacement blowers at South Rockhampton Sewerage Treatment Plant reduced power requirements by at least 30%.The projects have led to an annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 90,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents.
Implementing best practice WSUD
Water Sensitive Urban Design is the holistic approach to planning and design of integrated stormwater, water supply and sewerage management to minimise impacts on the natural water cycle and ecosystems. To implement best practice WSUD at RRC, a coordinated interdepartmental approach has been implemented and a working group has commenced roll out of new policy development, preparation of detailed Stormwater LGIP, development of a suite of waterway restoration and creek rehabilitation projects, and the development of an implementation guideline for guidance on Stormwater Quantity and Quality Management.
Barrage Open Day
Proudly hosted by Fitzroy River Water, the Barrage Open Day is held every three years to provide an opportunity for our community to take a tour of the Barrage and promote the importance of the Fitzroy River as both our community’s water resource and for its significant environmental value. A variety of water treatment displays about Fitzroy River Water and stalls from Fitzroy Basin Association, Capricornia Catchments, Koorana Crocodile Farm and Council’s Pest Management and Environmental Health units. FRW’s mascot, Fitz the bum breathing Fitzroy River turtle made a popular appearance and approximately 1,200 people took part in experiencing the Barrage walk.
View the Rockhampton Regional Council Reef Guardian 2016-2017 Highlight Report
Reef Guardian Highlights 2015-2016
Fish Passage improves Fitzroy River habitat connectivity
A new fish ladder was officially launched in time for World Fish Migration day in May, completing the $500,000 project under the Federal Government Reef Programme. The new fish ladder has significantly increased fish passage upstream; now up to 400 fish per minute. Built alongside the existing fishway, the new structure features innovative design techniques that reduce the velocity of water flowing from the upper level of the river to the below barrage level. This allows juvenile fish as small as 9mm to navigate their way safely upstream through the Barrage, improving habitat connectivity.
Busting weeds and revegetating Council land with native plants is a daily activity for our vegetation management team through Council’s vegetation management program. In Weedbusters Week, the team encourage our community to get involved and learn about how we can all help stop the spread of weeds. A range of information stalls, awareness activities and a children’s colouring in competition educated the community about the devastating impact weeds can have on our natural environment. When busting weeds remember - a year of weeds, a decade of seeds - if in doubt take it out!
Rethinking waste in the Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan
Our waste; it’s not just a load of rubbish! Council adopted our Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan (2016-2024). This Plan challenges current waste management performance and strives to achieve clear targets for waste reduction and diversion for our Region. Our vision is to manage waste production in a manner that is sustainable for the environment and the community, through innovative developments, and driving community values and cultural change. Over the lifetime of this Plan, Council will achieve an overall reduction in waste to landfill of 15%.
Developing a greener future through planning provisions
The Rockhampton Region Planning Scheme was adopted in 2015 and includes a range of additional or enhanced environmental overlays to manage development through planning provisions. Overlays indicate areas of value identified through detailed background studies. For example biodiversity overlays protect, rehabilitate and manage areas of environmental significance and water resource catchments overlay code is to ensure that development of land within water resource catchments is managed to protect the water quality of the catchment.
Reducing fleet impact
Council is committed to the reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from its vehicle fleet to lessen the impact of climate change and global warming. The Fleet Vehicle GHG Emissions Reduction Policy introduced environmental standards to ensure that GHG emissions are considered in vehicle procurement decisions. The implementation of this policy means that our fleet vehicles will meet a minimum GHG emissions rating of 6.0 for passenger vehicles and 5.0 for light commercial vehicles. It also means that fleet vehicles that do not meet this standard are phased out at asset renewal.
View the Rockhampton Regional Council Reef Guardian 2015-16 Highlight Report
View the Rockhampton Regional Council Reef Guardian 2014-15 Highlight Report