Tweed Shire Council has thrown more than $750,000 into the pot in an attempt to improve water quality of the Western Drainage Scheme at Banora Point.
The degraded state of the system has been a sore point with locals for many years, something not lost on Greens Mayor Katie Milne.
Cr Milne said the state of the Western Drainage Scheme had been a ‘bugbear’ of the community for a long time.
‘It’s depressing to see how bad it gets sometimes and I totally appreciate the community’s angst,’ she said.
‘The Western Drainage Scheme has been deteriorating over the years and is now the source of frequent complaints. This council has listened to the community and we hope the extra funds and initiatives adopted by council will help improve this complex system,’ she added.
In its quarterly budget review last week, the council voted to undertake structural changes to remove shallow points in the system, increase weed removal, extend the floating reed bed system and involve the community in revegetation.
‘The steps that are planned sound like they are going to have a significant impact, Mayor Milne said.
‘This is not just an aesthetic problem. These over nutrified waters drain into the back of the Terranora Broadwater, which is classified as a State-significant coastal lake and important fish-breeding and migratory bird areas.
‘The Banora Point community is the big winner out of this quarterly budget review.’
Shade trees will be planted to help to lower water temperature, improve dissolved oxygen content and discourage some weed and algae species.
But the nutrient loading of the drainage system is largely due to the stormwater runoff from the large residential areas it serves and nutrient overload at times results in reduced dissolved oxygen levels and increases the likelihood of fish kills.
So the council is planning to work with the community understand the issues affecting the system and try to address them at their source.