Work starts on natural drain at Bushland Beach

Date published: 14 July 2023

A drain corridor in Bushland Beach is being transformed into a living waterway as Council works to improve the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

Work has started on creating a replica of a natural self-regulating ecosystem which requires minimal maintenance and creates improved biodiversity, natural mosquito control, soil improvement to reduce erosion, aid water penetration and promote plant growth, and improved water quality.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said the works would create significant benefits for residents in the area.

“As a Reef Guardian Council it’s essential for Council to be proactive in delivering innovative ways to improve water that makes its way from our city to the Great Barrier Reef,” Cr Soars said.

“We’re committed to achieving world-class liveability through excellent open spaces to promote and protect our natural environment, which is why I’m pleased that we are now ready to deliver this project for Bushland Beach.

“In naturalising the drain corridor we will be using plants and trees to reduce the nutrients in our city’s stormwater as it heads towards the Reef. The addition of these plants will increase shade while creating a habitat for mosquito predators.

“The naturalised channel will replicate a natural self-regulating ecosystem which will require minimal maintenance.”

Cr Soars said works would take about six months to complete.

“This is a significant project which we have consulted with the community about through our Have Your Say Townsville website and in-person consultation sessions,” he said.

“Construction involves removing two pedestrian bridges and closing a section of the footpath adjacent to the open drain for the duration of the works, and we will be creating a laydown area on an unused AFL field close to the works.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to residents in the area for their patience as we get this important work done to help improve our environment.”

The initial project design was jointly funded by Townsville City Council and the Queensland Government as part of the Cleaner Wastewater Initiative project under the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program.

The construction of this bio-engineered naturalised waterway is fully funded by Council.

Visit our Bushland Beach Channel Naturalisation project page for more information.