Oxley Creek Transformation representatives attended the 21st International Riversymposium, hosted in Sydney in October 2018.
The International Riversymposium provides an annual opportunity for river and water management professionals, experts and organisations from around the world to come together to share research, knowledge and ideas. The range of presentations and forums was extensive, including talks on naturalising stormwater channels, improving the swimmability of rivers and the economic value of water bodies as ecological and recreational assets.
The 22nd International Riversymposium will be held in Brisbane next year. Find out more information on the Riversymposium website.
Powells Creek bank naturalisation
Powells Creek in the Sydney suburb of Homebush is a tributary of the Parramatta River. The natural creek bed and banks were lined with concrete in the 1930s. Approximately five years ago, a 750 metre section of the concrete channel was identified as requiring significant repair. The creek authority, Sydney Water, made the decision to naturalise the channel instead of replacing the concrete. Naturalisation involved removal of the concrete lined banks and replacement with sloping sandstone blocks and boulders. A small, more natural, meander was also introduced into the channel. New native planting and the small gaps between the sandstone blocks and boulders allow small animals to move along the banks with some measure of protection.
An endangered coastal saltmarsh vegetation community, providing habitat for a range of threatened species, is located next to the naturalised section of Powells Creek. During peak flows the creek spills into the saltmarsh under a new section of boardwalk, constructed for the existing walkway / cycleway. Seating and signage at a rest area to the side of the walkway provides an opportunity to appreciate the wetlands.
The naturalisation, completed in mid-2018, has improved the ecological function, appearance and social value of the creek while maintaining its role in local catchment flood mitigation.
Find out more about Powells Creek naturalisation.