Townsville City Council — Bushland Beach channel

A better drain for Bushy Beach!

Following community consultation, Townsville City Council is undertaking works in 2023-2024 to transform the Bushland Beach channel into a picturesque living waterway, following residents’ concerns over the existing open drain adjacent to Peggy Banfield Park.

Co-designed by residents, Council says the new design provides for a natural self-regulating ecosystem within the channel through the installation of ponds and a meandering rocky creek bed, integration with existing stormwater pipe inlets, and provision for sediment capture and clean-out, which will improve the quality of the water that flows to the Great Barrier Reef.

The venture is one pilot project to come out of Council’s 2021 Bohle Catchment Water Quality Offsets Roadmap.

The new natural waterway has been designed to:

  • Improve biodiversity with native vegetation that shades out unwanted plants and weeds
  • Control mosquitos naturally by providing habitat for mosquito predators
  • Improve soil to reduce erosion, help water penetration, and promote plant growth which will in turn stabilise channel banks
  • Improve the aesthetic of a living waterway rather than an urban drain
  • Improve water quality through the inclusion of ponds designed to capture sediment.

The project is a demonstration of the collaborative energy that shines in Townsville: bringing together the best in environmental and landscape works, including Ausfield Services, Biodiversity Australia and Three Big Rivers.

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.

“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 Bushland Beach project leverages funding received from the Queensland Government as part of the Cleaner Wastewater Initiative project under the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program.

In July 2023, Townsville City Council received a ‘B: Achieving Best Practice’ score for its urban water management practices, against the independent Urban Water Stewardship Framework.

Learn more about the Bushy Beach project