The Creek to Coral (C2C) program is a Townsville local government initiative, in partnership with
the Queensland Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DERM) (formerly Environment Protection Agency - EPA),
to maintain and enhance the waterways of the Coastal Dry Tropics.
The program promotes an infrastructure and community involvement based approach to total water cycle management across the Townsville local government areas.
The program promotes a ‘whole of catchment’ perspective in aiming to help protect the local marine environment from the impacts of land-based activities. Its success is built on a partnering approach that integrates all levels of government, the community, sciences, business and industry.
The C2C program also managed the development of a Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP) for the Ross and Black River Basins (i.e. Townsville covering the Black and Ross River Basins funded by the Australian Government’s former Coastal Catchment Initiative (CCI) program.
To achieve and sustain healthy freshwater, estuarine and marine water ecosystems in the Coastal Dry Tropics by:
- Promoting, encouraging and integrating total water cycle management actions across the business of Council; and
- Promoting and supporting the involvement of the community in the water cycle and integrated catchment management, through the community based education and involvement program.
To maintain healthy waterways and wetlands (i.e. from Creek to Coral) within the Townsville Coastal Dry Tropics catchments, through improvements in water quality and ecosystem health. This will be achieved through a partnership approach across all levels of government, the community and the sciences, business and industry sectors.
Creek to Coral core objectives are:
- Protecting natural values, biodiversity and ecosystem services of the coastal catchments, floodplains and wetlands;
- Focusing on the benefits and opportunities of total water cycle management including conservation of the regional water resource from rainfall to outfall;
- Informing, educating, involving and engendering community-based stewardship, awareness and ownership of 'whole of catchment' issues.
Further programme objectives are:
- To utilise the skills, expertise and resources within the Townsville coastal catchments for its management;
- To ensure the sustainable management of stormwater and wastewater quality;
- To monitor and conduct scientific research into water quality in order to understand process and impacts;
- To prepare coastal catchment and waterway health indicators;
- To view the coastal marine environment as a biophysical indicator of our effectiveness in managing terrestrial waterways and wetlands;
- To develop innovative and nationally significant approaches to catchment and waterway management;
- To establish effective governance of the program through the formation of a Project Control Group with supporting Working Groups based on the following themes:
- Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Research;
- Community Based Education and Involvement;
- On-ground Action and Infrastructure;
- Environmental Protection and Emergency Response; and
- Policy and Planning
- To reflect and complement the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan;
- Acknowledge, reinforce and maintain previous partnerships and contributions and aim to achieve on-ground results in the future;
- To reflect and complement where applicable the Burdekin Dry Tropics Natural Resource Management Plan for the Burdekin Dry Tropics.
Structure of Creek To Coral
The Creek to Coral program was initially based on a partnership approach across Townsville and Thuringowa City Councils. Since the amalgamation of the two councils the management of the Creek to Coral program has been undertaken through Townsville City Council’s Integrated Sustainability Services. The previous structure consisted of a Project Control Group (PCG) with representatives from Townsville and Thuringowa City Councils, and the former Environment Protection Agency (EPA). It provided high level program direction while Townsville City Council provided day to day management support for the program with tasks managed by the Creek to Coral coordinator.
The program has also established four working groups based on themes and these are facilitated by the Creek to Coral coordinator. These groups make up the communication network of the Creek to Coral program and seek to promote information exchange and integration of activities. See Working groups.
Previous Role of the Project Control Group
The structure, role and function of the Project Control Group (PCG) is being reviewed. Previous functions of the PCG included:
- Providing strategic guidance for the Creek to Coral program on behalf of the stakeholders they represent and are accountable too.
- Approving goals, strategy and plans for the future direction of the Creek to Coral program.
- Discuss, suggest and recommend total water cycle management actions to Council.
- Monitor budget expenditure, and identify future funding opportunities.
- Review and approve updates of the C2C work plan as required.
The Creek to Coral program’s approach is infrastructure-based, meaning that it focuses on infrastructure affecting water quality of catchments, riverways and marine areas, such as:
- Water supply;
- Ports; and
This approach is based on local government actions across Townsville City Council, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP). The approach is also underpinned by community involvement and includes groups such as Creekwatch, Landcare, Reef Check and Seagrass Watch.
The Creek to Coral program functions as a framework, with the C2C Coordinator facilitating interaction between its major partners (including Townsville City Council, DERM, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Townsville Port Authority) and with its other stakeholders including community groups and schools, sciences, commerce and industry, traditional owners and government agencies.
In the delivery of its Total Water Cycle Management Program, Creek to Coral adopts a process approach. It identifies and defines linked activities affecting water quality in Townsville, and manages these interrelated activities as a system of processes. Creek to Coral emphasises the importance of continual improvement of processes based on objective indicators.
Themes Structure 125KB
Creek to Coral works within an adaptive management framework, recognising that information is constantly updated and will evolve with the projects development and increasing longevity. An Adaptive management framework provides the flexibility to change existing structures and practices as knowledge increases, legislation changes and partnerships develop further potentially to extent beyond Townsville local government boundaries.
The Creek to Coral program has developed and implemented a Business Plan to guide the implementation of actions over the life of the Plan. Its also defines the objectives, principles and approach for the implementation of the program . The Business Plan enables and supports such activities as the management of the Coastal Catchments Initiative (CCI) project and implementation of the Black Ross (Townsville) Water Quality Improvement Plan.