Save the environment to save jobs

Article image - Save the environment to save jobs Redland City Council officer tests water in Moreton Bay

New research commissioned by the Council of Mayors South East Queensland (SEQ) shows projects that protect and improve creeks, rivers and Moreton Bay are powerful drivers of job creation. 

On average, catchment and land management projects generate around 5.3 direct jobs per $1 million spent compared to Queensland Treasury’s benchmark of just 3.1 jobs per $1 million of capital expenditure. 

It is estimated that around $30 million per annum is required to effectively manage the region’s creeks, rivers and Moreton Bay, which would generate more than 150 direct jobs every year for South East Queenslanders. 

Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chair and Brisbane Lord Mayor, Cr Adrian Schrinner, said, “When we don’t invest in our catchments effectively it results in higher costs for water treatment, the reduction of prime agricultural land, and contributes to the devastating impacts that severe weather events have on our communities.”

The Council of Mayors (SEQ) administers the Resilient Rivers Initiative, a coordinated and strategic approach to the management and investment in the region’s creeks, rivers and Moreton Bay. 

To-date, the SEQ Mayors have invested $4.3 million across the region’s catchments creating 23 direct and 14 indirect full-time jobs and generated around $2.1 million in total economic output for South East Queensland. 

Lockyer Valley Mayor, Tanya Milligan, said, “Catchment improvement projects are a great recovery tool for regional communities. They create jobs throughout the region’s catchments and offer an easy option for job seekers to build new skills.

“An important aspect of the Resilient Rivers Initiative has been its focus on creating new roles in areas like the Lockyer Valley, where locals are upskilled and that expertise then stays within our community.

“The idea of being able to protect Queensland’s natural assets while also creating jobs and economic uplift is a win-win in anyone’s view.” 

The Council of Mayors (SEQ) established the Resilient Rivers Initiative in 2014 as a response to the devastating effects of the 2011 and 2013 floods in South East Queensland.