Have Your Say On Townsville Waterways

Take The Survey

What is the Townsville Waterway Survey?

The Townsville Waterway Survey is the first survey of a long-term monitoring program that enables new insights into the uses, benefits and values of waterways in the Townsville region.

By having a long-term monitoring program in place, we will understand the status, trends and future of Townsville waterways by its users, by industries, and by the community. It can also assist in evaluating the effectiveness of management interventions.

The core objectives of the Townsville Waterway Survey is;

  • Long-term monitoring of the socio-economics of the region to provide data for the Townsville Dry Tropics Waterway Health Report Card.
  • Human dimension information to support emerging decision-support system tools for understanding Townsville waterways and associated ecosystems.

The Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters is conducting the survey in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and with funding and support provided by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Surveys will be open from November to December 2021 and will be conducted every two years.

What do the Surveys measure?

  • Waterway uses, benefits and values such as:
    • Economic benefits
    • Recreational use and values
  • Perceptions of waterway health
  • Perceptions of environmental problems (effects)
  • Perceptions of environmental threats (causes)
  • Waterway stewardship
  • Perception of management

Research and Management

The social surveys have been developed collaboratively across the five regional Report Card Partnerships in the Great Barrier Reef with guidance from CSIRO, experts from multiple government agencies, community groups, industries, and universities across Queensland

Regional surveys will be conducted in:

  • Dry Tropics-Townsville region
  • Wet Tropics region
  • Mackay- Whitsunday-Issac region
  • Fitzroy Basin
  • Gladstone Harbour

Each survey has an agreed set of ‘common, core metrics’ that:

Take Survey

What Can You Do To Improve Townsville’s Waterways?

Practice responsible Four- Wheel Driving (4WD) around Townsville waterways:

Did you know that 4WDing can impact waterways by causing erosion, transferring invasive weeds, and disturbing wildlife and nesting habitats?

Best practice 4WDing includes only driving where it is allowed and cleaning your vehicles (including tyres) of mud before entering environmentally sensitive areas.

For info on where 4WDing is permitted in Townsville, see the link below.


How to correctly dispose of Paints and Chemicals in Townsville?

Did you know that paint and chemicals should not be disposed of down the sink or down the storm drain? These items are difficult to remove in sewage treatment plants and end up in our waterways.

For more information on how to reduce your impact on waterways go to: https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/management/water/pollution/wastewater

Townsville disposal locations:

Practicing good fishing and boating habits:

Reducing microplastics in waterways:

Microplastics are any plastic that is less than 5mm in size. They can be made up of fibres or particles which are shed or broken up from larger plastic items.

Often, microplastics are too small to be filtered from sewage treatment plants, and therefore enter waterways or directly into the ocean.

The majority of microplastics in waterways and the ocean are fibres. Fibres can enter waterways many ways, one of which is through your washing machine at home. Small fibres from synthetic clothing are worn off in the wash. To reduce this, you can use filters in the washing machine wastewater.

More info on microplastics:


Effectiveness of washing machine filters:


Reporting Suspicious Activities

Please see the links below if you observe illegal activities, such as littering and dumping.

Littering and Illegal Dumping reporting forms: