response to the pressures identified above and in order to manage
population growth in a ecologically sustainable manner, Townsville
City Council has developed or participated in various strategic
activities (often in conjunction with the State Government and
community organisations). This will help to ensure that current
and future development balances Townsville’s environmental, economic,
and social aspirations.
response activities include:
Strategy Plan (was commissioned in partnership with State Government
and City of Thuringowa) which sets out plans and guidelines to
allow for and manage population growth taking social, economic
and environmental aspirations into account;
Transport Plan - Draft version of Plan here (.pdf
the Ross River Bikeway. The increasingly thorough network of bikeways
in Townsville will help to raise Townsville’s already high relative
use of bicycles and reduce the rate of pressure on the city’s
road transport networks;
support to NQ
Water for development of a Strategic Plan; a Dam Catchment
Management Plan; and management & research of the Ross River
Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) for urban land-fills, water
treatment/recycling plants, roads, and drainage (Drainage and
Waterway Management Plan). Such EMPs incorporate the appropriate
multiple agency permits and recognition of current environmental
requirements/guidelines. (e.g. Citiworks Drainage and Waterway
Townsville Industrial Land Project, including purchase of land
at Woodstock for consideration as future industrial development
specifically intended to be developed away from the coast and
meet stringent environmental management and nature conservation
requirements (refer TILP Report 2000);
a Growth Options Study and finalise the Rocky Springs Urban Master
Bank Conservation Study and subsequent Port Access Studies and
consultation (formal and informal);
Plan for Natural Resources Management (NRM) and Environmental
Conservation in the Townsville-Thuringowa Coastal Plains 2000
(with Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Inc ).
TCC has a history of working closely with community NRM initiatives
and working closely with Landcare and the community on workshops
relating to this particular Community NRM Plan as well as:
Erosion and Sediment Control,and
Plan for Natural Resources Management in
by Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Inc.
also initiated the RIKES Report workshops in 1990 to identify important
ecological and cultural environmental areas in Townsville's LGA
of the time. This was a benchmark Council-community initiative that
remains a foundation of conservation planning in the city today.
and continuing to implement the first Environmental Conservation
Strategy in Queensland -“Living
Today for Tomorrow”.
two community Ecotourism Workshops, which lead directly to the development
of the Townsville
Ecotourism Strategy 2000 and promotion of the Townsville
Experience (R.Burns 2001) and slide
works with Townsville Enterprise on it’s Ecotourism Sub-Committee
and has participated in a joint on-line Ecotourism Web Site and
associated Natural Assets Database (currently being
populated with information to be accessible to eco-tourists; visitors
and schools). TCC also runs ecotour
familiarisations of Townsville's environs and natural assets (e.g..
Cromarty, Mt. Stuart, Serpentine Lagoon, Ross Dam, and Billabong
has recently participated in an Energy Audit with the Townsville
Enterprise, and is planning a joint TCC/EPA (Sustainable Industries)
partnership project “Sustainable Townsville”. One of Sustainable
Townsville initiatives was the Sustainability
Today presentation delivered to council staff.
and Conservation Significance and Priorities for Wetlands and Vegetation
Communities (ATCFR 1996). This mapping and assessment has been a
major input to regional development and growth planning including
TTSP; Port Access and TILP.
completed Planning to Protect Biodiversity (Environment North) which
collates all previous data and information on Biodiversity for the
City Plan and provides an SOE Framework for future management
(Pressure-Condition-Response). This project is discussed further
under the section ‘Biodiversity’ but is a major input to Landscape
Planning and urban growth and population management.
image to enlarge - Community Partnerships
supports community Landcare, Bushcare and Coastcare on-ground activities
via innovative and cooperative partnership
agreements with the various community groups (eg: TUPALG, TThLA,
CVA & DTBG)
within the Natural Resources & Environmental Forum (NaREF) network.
has implemented a Creekwatch
and Drainwatch program in partnership with Conservation Volunteers
Australia (CVA) to help curb illegal discharges to stormwater drains.
See media story attached (note: Policy 2000 commitment).
diverse ethnic makeup of the Townsville community puts a focus on
culture as an important feature of the City.
not an easy concept to define, Council recognises that the culture
of Townsville is a reflection and celebration of what our community
is, where it has come from and where it is going. Our culture is
its identity and memory. It is also our future.
this in mind the Council initiated a consultation process in 2000
with local professional and community-based cultural organisations
and the wider community to seek out future directions for cultural
facilities and projects.
Plan for Townsville is the outcome of this work. It represents a
synopsis of our fascinating cultural history. The document also
opens up opportunities for more intense dialogue with other spheres
of Government, artists and community organisations. Click
here to see Cultural Plan.
to read the Cultural Plan
Artwork by Robert Preston - "Lagoon of Mythic Origins"
Healthy Cities Plan
Health Services are currently developing a Healthy Cities Plan.
This plan seeks to determine what the Townsville community feels
are the main issues associated with Environmental Health. The planning
process has to this point identified a number of key themes including
Health Environment, Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Communities and
Healthy Partnerships. A draft plan is expected mid 2003, with the
final plan completed sometime thereafter. Click here to read more
about the Healthy
Recreation and open areas
TTSP project investigated Open Space and Recreation management of
the twin cities in relationship to the existing situation and future
recreational landuse and opportunities. However, there is still
no Regional Sport and Open Space Policy Plan for Townsville. Previously
plans have been investigated however Council has commenced a bikeway
along Ross River from Blacks Weir to Ross Creek along both sides
of the river. This is a visionary plan that will meet recreational
needs and provides for commuters.
a couple of the local mountain bike clubs (e.g. Townsville Rockwheelers
Club) have begun an initiative to address the need to develop a
shared track network for recreational use and one that protects
the resource itself (i.e. erosion control, drainage and sediment
management). A shared network includes multiple use by fitness walkers,
nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers, mountain bike riders and horse-riders.
the Ross River and Ross Creek are the most significant open
space corridors in Townsville, there are also three other important
local open space recreation and nature areas. These are:
Creek Natureway (Garbutt to Rowes Bay walkway and bikeway)
Creek Waterway, and
Creek Conservation Area (QR/Landcare)
to enlarge - Birdwatchers on tour at the Serpentine Lagoon
Townsville City Council understands
the need to foster adequate planning policy, and an environmental
awareness and appreciation to achieve the long-term security and
integrity of its natural resources and its economic well-being.
Encompassed in this planning process is the need for sustainable
eco-tourism to provide people with economic and environmental benefits
compatible with local lifestyles and build on the leading growth
industry in Queensland. Many areas of Townsville provide great potential
and opportunities for eco-tourism activities, including:
Ecotourism activities currently
occur formally at Billabong
Sanctuary (environmental education) and informally for visitors
at National Parks and LGA conservation areas (e.g. Nelly
Bay Habitat Interpretative Facilities).
Click image to enlarge - Dugong calf - Insert from the Nelly Bay
objectives to maximise ecotourism while mitigating impacts are to:
orderly, planned development which recognises the need for conservation
of the natural resources and which is environmentally and economically
beneficial to local people; and;
Townsville as a distinctive Queensland city with relatively unspoilt
natural areas and many unique environmental attractions in north
Ross River environs are a major focus for recreational pursuits,
ranging from fishing to bird watching and water-skiing, requiring
coordinated management to sustain and optimise the values of the
area. Previously Council has produced a Ross River Master Plan to
guide open space management of this key recreational facility and
recently the Ross River Parkway Plan has been produced
to specifically guide recreation and open space management. This
plan greatly assists conserving environmental values whilst at the
same time providing a range of opportunities to accommodate the
community’s recreational needs. The plan develops a flexible, well-balanced
spectrum of recreational opportunities to meet current and future
needs of the community. The Parkway will also provide a safe off-road
bikeway for residents along the Ross River to the CBD.
advisory commitee also has a focus on the Ross River and provides
a forum for commitee members to network on both recreational and
environmental issues and opportunities affecting Ross River..
Mundy Creek Natureway was a joint State and TCC project
under the Garbutt Urban Renewal Program where TCC Community Services,
Citiworks, and Environmental Management Services worked together
to promote, rehabilitate and protect the natural area and walkway
environs from Garbutt to Rowes Bay. This walk and bikeway retains
important social, recreational as well as natural values. The "Natureway"
offers lovely scenic views, open spaces and grasslands, wetlands
as well as birdwatching and walking/biking and passive recreation
opportunities. A kids skate park abuts the waterway, and community
revegetation and creekwatch activities are regularly promoted. Importantly
retains to this day social and spiritual linkages for Traditional
2000). As part of the project two posters about the area were made.
One showing the work by the Community Job Plan (CJP)
natural area trainees, and one showing Mundy Creek Aboriginal
Plants and uses.
Community Awareness and Understanding
City Council has developed specific responses which help to build
a sense of community ownership of the dry tropical environment and
the responsibility for maintaining it. One especially successful
response has been the creation of the popular TCC Environmental
Excellence Awards. The awards are presented at EcoFiesta,
Townsville's own environmental festival Celebrating World Environment
Day, annually in June.
information about the Environmental Excellence Award winners and
their achievements for the years 2000, 2001, 2002. See Register
of Entries 2000, 2001, 2002.
completes regular community surveys incorporating environmental
considerations. Council participates in partnership with the community
and business/industry on a number of programs, which raise environmental
awareness and understanding.
Council regularly promotes it’s environment
programs and our city's natural assets, at Community Fun in the
Park Days; Night Markets; special events "Centenary of Federation"
and events to mark World Environment Day (Ecofiesta 2000,
Environment Week incorporating sponsored days e.g. Celebrating
Aboriginal Environments, Waterways & Wetlands Day; Flora
& Fauna Day; Ecotourism Day etc.).
actively encourages developers, residents, tourists and visitors
to appreciate Townsville’s unique environment to enable sustainable
development to be accommodated and promoted. In collaboration with
Townsville Enterprise Council has commenced compiling a digitally
based Natural Assets Database of information on regional flora and
fauna and environmental events and community Landcare and conservation
volunteers activities (native tree planting, weed management and
image to enlarge - Belgian Gardens School class learns about biodiversity
on Castle Hill
initiative is to enhance engagement with schools
and their environmental activities by involving them in mapping
and surveying flora
and fauna of their local
environments. This information will be incorporated onto the TCC
Natural Assets Database so that it is available
on the Internet for enhanced wildlife awareness and interaction.
See Belgian Gardens Schools Townsville Bulletin article on savanna
grasses of the school grounds.
has also developed their own set of responses including the development
of Community Involvement and Education Strategies.
Community Involvement and Education
by Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Inc.
Water, Waste and Wastewater
City Council has developed a number of strategies for water, wastewater
and waste disposal which identify future options to better manage
these important activities from an environmental perspective.
& Environmental Services Regional Organisation of Councils -
North Queensland (HESROC-NQ)
part of Council’s commitment to enhance staff environmental performance,
and in fulfilment of obligations under the multiple licence Integrated
Environmental Management Systems (Council and Wastewater STPs),
all staff attend environmental awareness training and procedures
for handling and managing environmental incidents have been implemented
by both Citiwater and Citiwaste.
Solid Waste Management
Street landfill was opened in 1989 and is located in an industrial
area away from urban residences with appropriate soil/geology for
the management of leaching and other contamination. The City Council
continuously monitors the site in line with National Pollutant Inventory
guidelines to ensure that environmental impacts are minimised. It
is believed that there are no emissions from the site to groundwater.
Stormwater management plans are being implemented to ensure uncontrolled
runoff does not contaminate downstream saltpan wetlands.
is committed to improving efficiency of its landfill operations
by implementing key recommendations of the Waste Management Strategy
(Sinclair Knight Merz 1998), as well as regional initiatives of
Regional Waste Management Strategy (Meinhardt 2000) and regional
waste routes map (.pdf
has commenced for construction of Stage 1 of the Vantassel Street
redevelopment, which will enable maximum opportunity for drop off
for commercial recycling.
has now been been closed down, and in the medium term it is also
planned to review the option of a transfer station at the Majors
Creek landfill site to meet both community need and environmental
protection requirements. It is also recognised that in the long
term it will be necessary to close the Picnic Bay Landfill and operate
a transfer station at this site too.
has implemented best practice kerbside recycling contracts and specific
waste minimisation strategies, including:
recyclable metals from the landfill
2002 TCC operated a $1.4 million (per annum) recycling contract
which has contributed to a significant reduction in the amount of
waste going to landfill than would otherwise be the case.
the existing program in 2001-2002 some 1,655 tonnes of recyclable
material was diverted from Townsville’s landfills including: 1,220
tonnes of paper mix, 170 tonnes of glass, 86 tonnes of steel, 72
tonnes of PET plastic, and 74 tonnes of HDPE.
recycling is available for all residents in waste collection areas
including Magnetic Island.
60% of households support the kerbside recycling by putting out
the recycling bins. However, between 14-16% of the bins are significantly
the program has until now met the expectations of the community
and been widely supported, the Council has decided that there was
significant room for a more eco-efficient and cost-effective program.
ensure environmental value for money, TCC recently commissioned
a review of the kerbside recycling program, including a review of
options for lowering costs (see brief and read report).
previous recycling contract was found to be lacking efficiency because
of high levels of contamination, inadequate materials recovery performance,
and large amounts of recyclables going to landfill. The conclusion
was that with improved recycling services there were savings of
up to $17 per household per year in Townsville which were identified.
figure is lower than the national average of $46 per household (urban
areas) due to the greater distance to markets for recyclable commodities
and recycled products.
has investigated alternative technologies such as SWERF system,
incineration, or aerobic processing (Bedminster) but none offer
financial benefits over the existing system of kerbside recycling
and landfill disposal because of the much greater estimated cost
per household per year. Although providing environmental benefits,
these options are currently considered cost prohibitive.
Council recently announced the selection of a new 8 year recycling
processing contract to be met by Visy
Recycling which commenced in January 2003. This will substantially
improve the environmental benefits associated with Townsville’s
recycling program and help to foster the development of markets
for waste materials and recycled product.
part of the new contract Visy
has constructed a new Materials Recovery facility (MRE) in Townsville.
The TCC and Thuringowa
City Council will collect waste while Visy will recycle it.
Under the new arrangements, more plastics will be recyclable and
the system will be more able to provide recycled materials to meet
important initiative is to encourage and facilitate private sector
involvement in commercial recycling. This initiative is being implemented
under a tri-part agreement with Councils recycling contractor.
important incentive for improved environmental performance exists
under the new arrangements in that (Visy) will be paying for the
disposal of “waste” (non-recycled recyclables) whereas previously
non-recycled recyclables were dumped at Thuringowa for free.
City Council is now recognised regionally as having one of the best
kerbside recycling programs, and has attracted funding under the
NPCC Best Practice Kerbside Recycling Program).
Rural Waste Collection
addition to the above domestic waste collection has been extended
to the outlying rural communities of Serene Valley, Cungulla, Alligator
Creek and Oak Valley. At this time residents do not support a cost
recovery recycling collection service. However a drop off facility
is provided for residents to use at the Vantassel Street landfill
in order to recycle cardboard & paper, glass, plastic, aluminium
and steel are provided to rural residents at the various landfills.
There also exists the opportunity to drop off greenwaste at tips
for mulching and resale by a contractor.
education is a key part of increasing the waste diversion rate (recycling)
and a comprehensive public education programme is a key component
of the kerbside recycling system. TCC has also endorsed adoption
of the new national "Don't Waste Australia" program (based
on the Do the Right Thing Campaign). This "Don't Waste Townsville"
framework will be applied across the city, for instance "Don't
Waste the Strand", as part of a comprehensive waste education
and anti-litter campaign.
educational activities in waste management include:
LAWMAC Bus (a mobile waste education facility); and
to see more information on these TCC waste education initiatives.
are also some posters relating to the waste management theme. See
the Citiworks waste management education and promotional posters.
Waste Management 2
image to enlarge - Townsville Satelite image
Water & Wastewater Management
Citiwater is responsible for implementing Council policy on the
management and commercial distribution of treated water and collection
of wastewater and subsequent treatment.
has previously adopted the Waterwise program which involved bringing
Waterwise teachers from Brisbane. They delivered presentations to
school students on water conservation. In 1999/2000 Council chose
to discontinue this program and to develop our own Watersmart program.
local "Watersmart" program targets the Townsville community
and its specific needs. The program is an educational plan which
targets schools, produces brochures, contributes newspaper articles
and maintains a library of educational resources.
program is being developed to integrate with other Council water
management programs (e.g.. Louisa
and Lakes Catchment tours) to ensure a catchment management approach
"rainfall to outfall".
Logo: the frog represents the land and clean fresh water that we
all depend on. The butterfly represents clean air and the important
role that water has (in vapour form) in the water cycle. The clown
fish represents a clean ocean.
Environmental Initiatives in Wastewater Treatment
and Water Reuse.
has produced Wastewater Strategies for both the mainland and Magnetic
Island (1996). These strategies are being implemented under Council
resource allocations, for example:
and commissioning of the Magnetic Island Water Recycling Plant (see
.pdf 196kb)to tertiary treatment standards
of both the Cleveland
Bay and Mt.
St John Wastewater Treatment Plant with spending of $8 million
under consideration for Cleveland Bay facilities and further funding
considerations for Mt. St John ($ 2.75 million for tertiary treatment
upgrades by 2003).
have recently upgraded Mt. St John Wastewater
Treatment Plant (see brochure
.pdf 140kb) and the Cleveland Bay Wastewater
Treatment Plants (see brochure
.pdf 170kb) to include use of gas emissions
from the treatment process to run the plants (covering 60% of operating
costs for Mt. ST John and 40% for Cleveland Bay).
Cleveland Bay and Mt. St John are both using methane gas to power
a proportion of their energy needs (refer Atmosphere SOE Section)
has implemented effluent reuse at the RAAF base and the Rowes Bay
Golf Course. The facilities currently achieve 90% reuse of all dry-weather
Treatment. Citiwater operate the water treatment plant at Douglas
and provide water reticulation to Magnetic Island and the Townsville
Water Use in Parks and Gardens. Parks
services have instigated a number of innovations relating to reducing
water demand some of these on the Strand and this contributed to
the winning in December 2002 of the Resource
Conservation Award in the Clean
Beach Challenge. There is substantial scope for further improvement.
is currently assessing various options, which may assist the Council
to lead by example in reducing water use in the city’s parks and
gardens. These initiatives also have the potential to save money
in the process for ratepayers whilst at the same time reducing water
use. For example, refinements in a centrally controlled system for
watering parks could help to optimise the frequency and quality
of watering. Replacing sprinklers on median strips with buried dripper
tubes could reduce water costs by some 20% whilst at the same time
reducing the amount of water on roadways, reducing damage to roads,
and also reducing maintenance costs. Click
here to see example proposed project.
mentioned above in the Atmosphere chapter, TCC is contributing to
greater uptake of public transport through subsidies to bus and
TCC has also worked to enhance the city’s network of bike paths
to increase the use of more environmentally friendly and healthy
alternative to cars. As mentioned previously, the bike path network
includes some 100km of on road bicycle lanes and 40km of off-road
bicycle paths, and 10km of bicycle routes. Continuity and connectivity,
lighting, and end-of-trip facilities remain areas of resident concern
which the Council is working to improve.
mentioned previously in the Atmosphere
chapter, TCC is leading by example in the uptake of environmentally-friendly
transport alternatives through the purchase of low emission vehicles
like the Toyota Prius.
is working with other levels of government to improve the road transport
network in and around Townsville in order to minimise the environmental
impacts of transport sector growth in the city and the region.
is also pursuing the priorities established in the Townsville Transport
compact forms of urban development to increase the efficiency
of the transport system;
land use patterns encourage the use of public transport, walking
alternative public transport models which utilise existing infrastructure
and offer a viable alternative to car travel;
alternatives to restrain heavy vehicle traffic growth, reduce
the impact of heavy vehicles on the existing system and improve
urban freight efficiency;
opportunities to reduce the environmental impacts of transport
and promote the environmental, economic and health benefits of
public transport, cycling and walking; and
there us adequate infrastructure for viable, convenient and safe
walking, cycling and recreational boating.
is important also to acknowledge that the growth in the transport
sector at the Townsville Port and the Townsville Airport have been
acknowledged and acted on by both authorities involved.
of Townsville has acknowledged the concerns associated with
expansion of the facility including: implications for air quality,
oil spills, noise pollution, proximity of the port to the Great
Barrier Reef, and to Dugong Protection areas, Seagrass beds and
mangrove forests in Cleveland Bay. The Port of Townsville has developed
a comprehensive Environment Management Strategy which is being implemented
in conjunction with customers and a wide range of government and
community stakeholders. (Click to Port of Townsville environment
Townsville Airport acknowledges various existing or potential environmental
concerns associated with the Townsville
Airport including: potential stormwater contamination (especially
given proximity to Town Common; contaminated site at airport landfill
in non-compliance with EPA regulations; air pollution – though this
is believed to be negligible; aircraft noise – (Heatley and Mount
Louisa are in non-compliance with three recommendations of the Australian
Standard on Noise – AS2021); biodiversity (though the Qld Environment
department has indicated little likelihood of endangered species);
some AQIS concerns over increased mosquito larvae at the airport;
and bird strikes. Townsville Airport is working with its stakeholders
to address these and other concerns. (Click for Townsville
Airport Environment website)
image to enlarge - Pallarenda Beach
to work with developers and business to ensure that landscape design
and development is compatible with the environment and does not
conflict with conservation objectives, such as water quality management
to develop the natural assets register and database and commence
the school biodiversity program;
an information package covering environmental features and activities
for the region for each household to raise environmental awareness
and appreciation of our special Tropical Savanna and wetland landscape;
the Townsville Ecotourism Strategy (2000) and providing to protect
natural areas with ecotourism and recreation opportunities and to
maintain landscape aesthetics;
opportunities to upgrade environmental interpretation facilities
and provision of self guided trails and walks in the City and surrounds;
natural history information and field guides to visitor information
centres (e.g. Landcare and Environmental Education Centre and Natural
Assets Database) to promote natural attractions;
an accurate land use map relating actual land condition to land
with and encourage and provide industry with "Clean
and Green" environmental opportunities and market advantage
(environmental trading) in association with the Sustainable Townsville
options and technological solutions for wastewater reuse in conjunction
with Sustainable Townsville program.
Australian Heritage Places Inventory
A number of Townsville buildings
and places are heritage listed. These include: