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Flood-affected land to be regenerated, turned into koala habitat: LVRC

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Media Release, 15 April 2024

Hundreds of native seedlings are set to be planted on flood-affected land, helping to bolster native habitat and reduce future flood damage.

The project area, adjacent to and including Lions Park, Lower Tenthill, consists of two recently acquired lots which were bought back under the Voluntary Home Buy-Back (VHBB) program. The site will undergo revegetation this Sunday to help stabilise a critical part of Lockyer Creek.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor, Tanya Milligan said the community tree planting day, which forms part of Council’s Resilient Rivers project, would deliver significant environmental benefits and reduce the community’s flood risk.

“Not only will planting these 600 trees help reduce the impacts of future flooding by preventing sediment loss and bank erosion during major flood events, they will also increase and enhance habitat for native animals, including koalas which have been recorded in the local area, which is a wonderful outcome,” she said.

“To top it off, this is a fantastic use of flood-affected land. Thanks to the VHBB program, we’ve helped move some of our most vulnerable community members from high-risk locations such as these, and to know these two properties will be regenerated is truly heartwarming.”

Minister for Fire and Disaster Recovery Nikki Boyd said voluntary home buy-back had been identified for homes that were the most severely impacted by flooding in early 2022.

“Under the program, properties are purchased by the local council using program funds and the home demolished or removed. The land is then re-zoned to an appropriate, non-occupied use such as green space,” she said.

“This revegetation project in the Lockyer Valley is a wonderful example of how the buy-back program is building resilience and assisting communities to reduce the risks of future disasters.

“Flood-impacted homeowners have now moved on, free from the risk of future flooding, while communities such as Lower Tenthill will benefit from additional green space and native habitat.”

The VHBB program is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, as part of the $741 million Resilient Homes Fund.

Council has acquired 24 properties under the VHBB program and is expected to complete demolition/removal of the properties by mid-to-late 2024.

Mayor Milligan encouraged community members to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty at the tree planting event, which is being hosted by Council in collaboration with Greening Australia and their sponsor Nature’s Own, and the Council of Mayors South East Queensland (COMSEQ).

“What a way to fill up your cup on Sunday, 21 April! Enjoy the crisp autumn air and leave knowing you’ve helped reinstate an endangered ecosystem and created future koala habitat,” she said.

“You’ll have also helped produce a cooler, wilder, healthier green space for the region to enjoy for decades to come.”

COMSEQ representatives will be on hand and there will be a Welcome to Country and performance by the Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers, Mayor Milligan said.

“The site will be prepared prior to the event to make planting easy for volunteers, with all planting equipment provided and a free sausage sizzle and refreshments available for those who’ve worked up an appetite and thirst,” she said.

“Just bring your hat, slap on some sunscreen, dress weather appropriate and wear closed-in shoes.”

Ongoing maintenance of the plants and further creek bank planting will be completed at a later date as part of the Resilient Rivers project.

The community tree planting day runs from 8am to 12pm on Sunday, 21 April. To register, visit bit.ly/3TKGoSC.

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