Update on Ipswich’s Small Creek Redevelopment Project

The transformation of Small Creek in Ipswich into a living waterway is now more evident as it progresses halfway through its project timeline.

What was once a concrete drain is now slowly transforming into a thriving natural waterway. The Small Creek Redevelopment Project of the Ipswich City Council aims to evolve the 1.6-km Small Creek into a living waterway with native vegetation, pools, and ripples of shallow, clean running water, and habitat for wildlife.

This project is divided into four stages. At present, stages 1 and 2 have been completed.

Construction began in 2018, and is expected to be completed by 2023. Funding for Small Creek’s redevelopment came from developer contributions under the Council’s water quality offsets scheme.

Here is an overview of the project’s 4-stage timeline:

Stage 1- Warwick Road to Sapar Landscapes:

  • The removal of 30,000 cubic metres of soil and installation of over 150,000 plants resulted into having a channel with pools and riffles (rock ramps).
  • Within 18 months the 30 cm tall saplings planted were already as tall as 5 m and an abundance of bird and aquatic life had returned to the creek.
  • A fish survey in 2019 confirmed Small Creek had become a functioning ecosystem with numerous native fish and other aquatic species detected.
Native Fish
Photo credit: https://www.ipswichfirst.com.au/

Stage 2- Sapar Landscapes to Briggs Road:

  • Completion of Stage 2 in early 2019 marked project halfway point, with 800 metre of naturalisation in place.
  • The project revolves around its theme of sustainability by having sections of the concrete channel be broken up and repurposed in place of rock to eliminate the need for the old channel to be sent to landfill.
  • The shared pedestrian path and bikeway is frequently used by school students and residents of Ipswich.
Photo credit: https://www.ipswichfirst.com.au/

Stages 3 and 4- Briggs Road to Poplar Street Park and Poplar Street Park to Whitehill Road:

  • The design process for Stages 3 and 4 will include further community and stakeholder consultation to help inform the final design of the Small Creek.
  • One of the major focuses for these stages will be incorporating Poplar Street Park into the design.
  • The shared pathway will also continue through the development and link to Whitehill Road.

Benefits of Small Creek

Having a redeveloped Small Creek will give a significant number of social and environmental benefits. The benefits include:

  • Improved aesthetics with the transformation of the creek into a natural waterway.
  • Cooler water in our waterways, a vital requirement for native fish species.
  • Reduction in air temperatures by up to two degrees around the creek corridor.
  • Improved environmental outcomes and better water and habitat quality.
  • Increased value of surrounding property.
  • Improved active transport connections for residents.

Interested to know more about the Small Creek Redevelopment Project? Visit Ipswich City Council for more details and updates.