The first stage of a winding natural waterway, featuring about 39,000 shrubs, trees and plants, was recently completed in Belle Eden.
It’s surrounded by green open space dotted with bench seats and picnic shelters.
A wooden bridge passes over the waterway along the newly constructed pathway.
It’s hard to imagine that just months ago it was a barren man-made drain.
Stage one of the Bundaberg Regional Council project, funded with support from the Federal Government, is now complete, bringing the vision for the innovative project to life.
It was based on a simple concept – a natural waterway can provide a better outcome for the environment when filtering stormwater runoff.
Nicole Bunter and her daughter Anna recently took advantage of the opportunity for residents to speak with project managers about the new Belle Eden natural waterway.
They live nearby and are thrilled with the outcome which gives their family more time to enjoy the great outdoors.
“It looks absolutely beautiful,” Nicole said.
“It’s just a great area for the kids to run around and play and get to know each other in the community, it’s absolutely lovely.
“It definitely has encouraged the kids out.
“It’s just very beautiful and serene and refreshing and it’s just nice because you can go for a nice walk. It’s just really enjoyable.”
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt congratulated Bundaberg Regional Council on the project which received $1.5 million funding from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
“The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program was established by the Coalition Government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to help local councils get shovel-ready projects underway as soon as possible to help boost the local economy,” Mr Pitt said.
“This project has not only improved drainage in Belle Eden but made an inviting space for local residents and wildlife to enjoy.”
“I’m pleased the Federal Government has been able to provide Bundaberg Regional Council with almost $10 million under the three phases of this program, with access to Phase 3 funding from 1 January 2022.”
Bundaberg Regional Council Environment portfolio spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said natural waterway’s innovative approach to stormwater drainage would set the standard for future projects.
“This is a fabulous result for the community and the environment – it’s a win-win,” Cr Honor said.
“Residents now have this beautiful area to enjoy, we have created a habitat for wildlife and are improving the quality of the stormwater runoff.
“Native plants like water reeds will naturally treat this runoff which ultimately finds its way to areas like Baldwin Swamp, so this is a critically important improvement.”
Some of the main features of stage one include:
- New footpath from Longview Drive to Belle Eden Park including a new bridge crossing across the waterway
- New park benches
- New picnic shelter
- About 39,000 new shrubs, trees and plants
- Rock lined low flow channel
- Reinstatement of a riparian corridor to reinstate the attributes and qualities of a natural waterway
- Several informal rock crossings for exploration and engagement with the waterway
This project received $1.5 million funding through the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. This program supports local councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across Australia, supporting jobs and the resilience of local economies to help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.