Stockland is committed to the protection and enhancement of the Pumicestone Passage catchment.
We have been an active member of the Pumicestone Catchment Network since it was formed in 2011 to collaboratively develop the Pumicestone Passage and Catchment Action Plan 2013-2016.
How does the Pumicestone Passage work?
Pumicestone Passage is an iconic waterway for the Sunshine Coast region, and is part of the internationally recognised Ramsar-listed Moreton Bay Marine Park.
Pumicestone Passage has two entrances, with tidal movement northward from Deception Bay and southward from Caloundra. These opposing tidal influences meet in the vicinity of an extremely shallow area called “The Skids” – creating a ‘null’ point with very low rates of tidal exchange and long water retention times. As a result, “The Skids” is a very poorly flushed area that can accumulate pollutants given the tidal flows largely cancel each other out and the major water exchange influence is a modest net northerly flow and the influence of catchment runoff to force water from the area. Overall, there is a very slight net northerly flow along the Passage due to the tidal phase differences between the two entrances.
Pumicestone Passage Virtual Boat Tour
Beerwah East - Coochin Creek Catchment
Coochin Creek is the largest catchment in the Beerwah area which ultimately drains into the Pumicestone Passage. The majority of the creek is within either a freshwater or marine/estuarine High Ecological Value (HEV) area protected under State Legislation which requires a ‘no change in water quality’ criteria to be upheld.
Water modelling by Water Tech (download the report here
), has identified that Beerwah East could further degrade the water quality of the Pumicstone Passage. The majority of Beerwah East drains into Coochin Creek (Ramsar and protected HEV values) and into the most poorly flushed part of Pumicestone Passage known as “The Skids, the Ws and the Narrows”. Given its shallow depths, long water retention times and tidal confluence, this area is the most susceptible part of the Passage to any potential adverse water quality change.
The potential conversion of the Beerwah East site from forested to urban residential form will significantly increase stormwater flows and pollutant loads into Coochin Creek and ultimately Pumicestone Passage. In order to achieve the minimum ‘no net change’ water quality criteria required to protect downstream HEV waterways within the Passage, significant water quality management will be required.
Overall, the actual distance of Beerwah East from Pumicestone Passage is irrelevant in terms of water quality impacts. The key determining influence is surface water run-off, with flows from Beerwah East eventually entering Pumicestone Passage and potentially creating adverse and detectable water quality change.
Halls Creek Pumicestone Protection
Extensive modelling by water engineering consultancies, Water Tech and BMT WBM
have identified that the development of Halls Creek can be developed with no adverse impact on the Pumicestone Passage or the Coochin Creek catchment for the following reasons:
The Halls Creek site is largely a self-contained catchment which drains to an onsite 140 ha Melaleuca wetland that provides additional water management and protection. The wetland, along with the planned rehabilitated 400 ha conservation area Stockland intends to establish within the site, will be integral to on-site and off-site water quality.
Halls Creek does not contain any onsite creeks or have any coastal frontage to the Passage, and importantly, it doesn’t contain any State-protected High Ecological Value (HEV) or Ramsar values within the site. It is located approximately 3kms from the Passage.
Water expert, Tony McAlister, provides an overview of how water will be managed on the Halls Creek site, if it is deemed suitable for future development.