salt water creek renaturalisation
The Saltwater Creek Masterplan represents one of the largest city-shaping opportunities in Bundaberg for decades. Over recent centuries Saltwater Creek has been converted from a vibrant Creek into a largely concrete channel which is now seen and treated as a drain. The concrete channel is now reaching the end of its life and requires renewal. This presents a unique opportunity to change this aging infrastructure into a living, multifunctional asset which can convey water as well as support the regions liveability.
The need to make major improvements to flood resilience, ecological health, community accessibility and personal safety provides a rare opportunity to also reconsider the wide-ranging potential of the Creek as a living entity, and an integral part of the social, cultural and environmental life of the communities around it. Bundaberg Regional Council has worked with a diverse team of expert consultants to develop this comprehensive Masterplan for Saltwater Creek, establishing a framework for the future.
This Masterplan is a product of many voices, and as many aspirations. It is driven by the priorities of the local community, the Council and many other stakeholders and constituents. In response to the richness of inputs, and the multi-disciplinary skills of the project team, the Masterplan re-imagines the Creek as a place where people and nature can coexist, and to mutual benefit. The Creek will be a network of inviting and accessible spaces, amenities and social infrastructure, reflecting the city’s diversity and community spirit.
In support of this vision, the Masterplan is shaped by six key principles:
1. Connection to Country – our Indigenous past, present and future
2. Slow Flows – managing water, movement and surplus
3. Healthy Habitat – ecologies, environments and inhabitants
4. Connected Places – linking people, places and processes
5. Active and Safe – recreation, restoration and reclamation
6. Resilient Development – moving beyond sustainability to regenerative futures
These guiding principles frame a series of interventions along and around Saltwater Creek, across a range of project types. Some of the initiatives outlined in this report may require significant investment, in both time and resources. The Masterplan will inform subsequent investigations and feasibility analyses to determine appropriate delivery and funding models. These will be essential steps to ensure that the shared vision for the Creek continues to evolve over the coming years, as the community itself grows and changes.
Taribelang Bunda, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang, and Bailai
Bundaberg Regional Council