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Seqwater growing better outcomes with environmental partnership

Seqwater is rolling out a $7 million program to help safeguard its drinking water sources using a natural solution.

Native vegetation along the banks of waterways helps protect water quality by reducing the amount of sediment that enters surface water. 

Seqwater’s five-year landcare program will enhance these natural barriers by targeting highly invasive species including cats claw, Madeira vine and Chinese celtis, which destroy native plants. 

It will be run in partnership with Healthy Land and Water (HLW) and will focus on the waterways supplying water treatment plants at Mount Crosby, which account for about 50% of South East Queensland’s (SEQ) drinking water.

Seqwater CEO Neil Brennan said the program will be the largest physical weed management project ever delivered across SEQ’s waterways. 

“Working with established land care and conservation groups like HLW across the region allows Seqwater to tap into local knowledge and better connect with the communities we serve,” Brennan said.

“Seqwater and HLW share a commitment to sustainable catchment management, restoring and protecting our drinking water sources and working with the community to protect water quality.”

The partnership follows a successful 18-month trial in the Brisbane River, and will involve working with HLW and landholders along the Lockyer Creek, Brisbane River, and Stanley River. 

HLW CEO Julie McLellan said bundling the delivery of waterway improvement works into one program would lead to better outcomes.

“What makes this program special is the fact we’re working with landholders and local groups across multiple waterways and catchments, which have previously been done as one-offs or in isolation,” McLellan said.

“Working together means we’ll cover a larger area and have a greater impact.”

This isn’t the first time Seqwater has taken an innovative approach to land management. Earlier this year, the utility brought in some four-legged landscapers to tackle weeds and overgrown grass at its Landers Shute water treatment plant.