Community Jury - Management of the Noosa River

A clean and healthy Noosa River that is visually appealing is vital to the local tourism industry and the lifestyle Noosa residents enjoy.

There are ongoing concerns regarding abandoned and derelict vessels, pollution and clutter in the river, and changes to commercial jetty leases which may lead to uncontrolled increases in commercial operations.

Anchoring, mooring, living on board and the commercial use of the Noosa River is currently under the management of the State government. Noosa's second Community Jury has deliberated upon -

How can we manage the Noosa River better? What role should Council play and what resources shouldContinue reading

A clean and healthy Noosa River that is visually appealing is vital to the local tourism industry and the lifestyle Noosa residents enjoy.

There are ongoing concerns regarding abandoned and derelict vessels, pollution and clutter in the river, and changes to commercial jetty leases which may lead to uncontrolled increases in commercial operations.

Anchoring, mooring, living on board and the commercial use of the Noosa River is currently under the management of the State government. Noosa's second Community Jury has deliberated upon -

How can we manage the Noosa River better? What role should Council play and what resources should Council apply?

See the News Feed below for updates


  • Noosa River Plan to include whole catchment

    3 months ago

    Noosa Council will update the Noosa River Plan and broaden its scope to include the whole catchment.

    “Given the community’s concern about the way the River is managed, plus the advice of our recent community jury, it is time to revisit the Noosa River Plan. We need to ensure it is up to date and relevant,” said Councillor Brian Stockwell. "And there will be plenty of opportunity throughout that process for residents and stakeholders to have a say.

    “Broadening the plan’s scope to include the catchment makes sense when you consider that the health of the tributaries, creeks and lakes... Continue reading

    Noosa Council will update the Noosa River Plan and broaden its scope to include the whole catchment.

    “Given the community’s concern about the way the River is managed, plus the advice of our recent community jury, it is time to revisit the Noosa River Plan. We need to ensure it is up to date and relevant,” said Councillor Brian Stockwell. "And there will be plenty of opportunity throughout that process for residents and stakeholders to have a say.

    “Broadening the plan’s scope to include the catchment makes sense when you consider that the health of the tributaries, creeks and lakes has flow-on implications for the River.

    “The catchment’s lakes, remnant vegetation, aquatic ecosystems, floodplain and wetlands all have ecological, social and economic values. Clearly these may benefit from better protection and management.”

    A key aim of an updated River Plan will be protection of water quality, including consideration of both land-based and on-river activities. That will include rehabilitation and conservation of tributary habitats, plus a focus on wetlands and marine plants.

    Council developed the Noosa River Plan in conjunction with the community in 2004 as a primary management tool for the waterway. It was last reviewed in 2009.

    Environment Officer Jan Maddin said Council would be reaching out to the community for their input between March and June.

    “The new plan will better protect the catchment’s environmental, social and economic values for the long term,” she said.

    Councillor Stockwell said the revamped Noosa River Plan would also support Council’s case for taking over some of the State’s management responsibilities on the river, including anchoring permits and removal of hulks.

    "Those discussions with the State are ongoing," he said.


  • Progress including new framework for Noosa River Plan

    6 months ago

    What’s been happening?

    Following deliberations the CJ recommended … ‘Council should take over the authority and finances from the State Government for managing anchoring, mooring, living on board and commercial use of the river on the basis it would be a user pays system funded through alternative means to rates.’

    There were 12 recommendations in total:

    · Four relate to the broader catchment issues i.e. update the Noosa River Plan in a new framework with formal status and authority; maintain catchment protections; protect aboriginal cultural heritage sites & engage aboriginal people on all aspects of river management; establish a river... Continue reading

    What’s been happening?

    Following deliberations the CJ recommended … ‘Council should take over the authority and finances from the State Government for managing anchoring, mooring, living on board and commercial use of the river on the basis it would be a user pays system funded through alternative means to rates.’

    There were 12 recommendations in total:

    · Four relate to the broader catchment issues i.e. update the Noosa River Plan in a new framework with formal status and authority; maintain catchment protections; protect aboriginal cultural heritage sites & engage aboriginal people on all aspects of river management; establish a river management coordination committee.

    · Eight specifically relate to on-river activities i.e. anchoring, mooring, living on board & commercial jetty leases.

    Following delivery of CJ recommendations … Council wrote to relevant State Government Ministers to meet to discuss transfer of agreed management responsibilities to Council

    Progress to date?

    · Council endorsed the review & update of the Noosa River Plan under a whole-of-catchment management framework (which was the first CJ recommendation) @ their Ordinary Meeting on 19/1/17 so this is now underway. The timeframes & processes are Jan-Mar for an in-house review & alignment with other Council strategies & plans; Apr-May for targeted consultation with environment groups; Jun-Apr for broader consultation from June; Jul-Aug anticipated new River Plan completed.

    · Council developed options for 1) managing anchoring, access & amenity issues; 2) managing buoy moorings; 3) managing derelict vessels; 4) managing commercial jetty leases.

    · Currently in discussions with the Department of Natural Resources & Mines regarding management of commercial jetty leases

    · Yet to hear from the Minister of Main Roads, Road Safety & Ports regarding anchoring, derelict vessels, moorings & living on board.

    When is there likely to be changes in management of activities in the lower estuary in particular?

    · Unknown at this stage, but crucial to speak with the Minister regarding transfer of ‘agreed’ management responsibilities for anchoring etc. before we can proceed.

    · Remainder 8 of the CJ recommendations relate to on-river activities.


  • Letters sent to Ministers

    over 1 year ago

    Following the Community Jury recommendations to Council regarding management of the Noosa River, letters have now been sent from the Mayor to the relevant State Government Ministers seeking their support to transfer agreed management responsibilities for the Noosa River to Council.

    The relevant ministers are:

    · Hon Stirling Hinchliffe MP – Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games

    · Hon Dr Anthony Lynham MP Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines

    Council’s objectives are to:

    · Take on management of moorings, anchoring and living on board vessels in the river;

    · Seek legislative amendments to prohibit long-term unattended... Continue reading

    Following the Community Jury recommendations to Council regarding management of the Noosa River, letters have now been sent from the Mayor to the relevant State Government Ministers seeking their support to transfer agreed management responsibilities for the Noosa River to Council.

    The relevant ministers are:

    · Hon Stirling Hinchliffe MP – Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games

    · Hon Dr Anthony Lynham MP Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines

    Council’s objectives are to:

    · Take on management of moorings, anchoring and living on board vessels in the river;

    · Seek legislative amendments to prohibit long-term unattended anchoring;

    · Remove abandoned and derelict vessels from the river;

    · Implement an on-river inspection and compliance program; and

    · Manage commercial jetty leases.

    Noosa Council will provide regular updates here as it progresses Noosa River Management actions relating to the Community Jury's recommendations.


  • Council decision on Jury's verdict

    over 1 year ago

    At its January 2016 Ordinary meeting Council decided to pursue the community jury recommendation to take over some of the state government‘s Noosa River management responsibilities.

    18 of 24 community jury members recommended Council seek control of mooring, anchoring, live-aboards and commercial leases – currently several state agencies’ domain.

    Council voted to use 12 further recommendations, which the jury reached consensus on, in drafting a detailed management strategy for the river.

    The Jury's Report can be found in the document library to the right of this screen

    At its January 2016 Ordinary meeting Council decided to pursue the community jury recommendation to take over some of the state government‘s Noosa River management responsibilities.

    18 of 24 community jury members recommended Council seek control of mooring, anchoring, live-aboards and commercial leases – currently several state agencies’ domain.

    Council voted to use 12 further recommendations, which the jury reached consensus on, in drafting a detailed management strategy for the river.

    The Jury's Report can be found in the document library to the right of this screen

  • Jury Report at Council meeting January 11, 2015

    over 1 year ago

    The Jury's final report along with a supporting document with explanations of recommendations contained within the report will be discussed at Council on Monday 11th January at its General Committee meeting.

    The Jury's final report along with a supporting document with explanations of recommendations contained within the report will be discussed at Council on Monday 11th January at its General Committee meeting.

  • Final Meeting #5

    over 1 year ago

    Noosa's River Jury worked until late last Wednesday evening (December 2nd) to arrive at consensus on 12 recommendations. The Jury are in the process of finalising their report before handing their final set of recommendations to Council.

    Noosa's River Jury worked until late last Wednesday evening (December 2nd) to arrive at consensus on 12 recommendations. The Jury are in the process of finalising their report before handing their final set of recommendations to Council.

  • Meeting #4

    over 1 year ago

    At its 4th meeting, the Noosa's Community Jury worked hard on reaching consensus on key recommendations to Council. Consensus was achieved on some items with others still open for debate. A small team was charged with the task of drafting the beginnings of what will be a final set of recommendations to Council. The Jury will meet again on Wednesday December 2 at Council Chambers.Observers are welcome.

    At its 4th meeting, the Noosa's Community Jury worked hard on reaching consensus on key recommendations to Council. Consensus was achieved on some items with others still open for debate. A small team was charged with the task of drafting the beginnings of what will be a final set of recommendations to Council. The Jury will meet again on Wednesday December 2 at Council Chambers.Observers are welcome.

  • Meeting #3 Jury calls on Coast Guard, NICA and Kabi Kabi for River wisdom

    almost 2 years ago

    Suspected illegal discharge from boats and dilapidated, drifting and poorly lit vessels are among the major problems afflicting Noosa River, says Noosa Coast Guard Commander Alan Hall.Mr Hall was one of three special guests to address Noosa’s second community jury, as it deliberates ways to better manage Noosa River and the role Council should play. Mr Hall said he had personally seen many examples of defective anchor chains and ropes, boats left in a poor state of repair and poorly lit vessels creating a hazard for other river users. Mr Hall strongly suspected that there was illegal discharge from some... Continue reading

    Suspected illegal discharge from boats and dilapidated, drifting and poorly lit vessels are among the major problems afflicting Noosa River, says Noosa Coast Guard Commander Alan Hall.Mr Hall was one of three special guests to address Noosa’s second community jury, as it deliberates ways to better manage Noosa River and the role Council should play. Mr Hall said he had personally seen many examples of defective anchor chains and ropes, boats left in a poor state of repair and poorly lit vessels creating a hazard for other river users. Mr Hall strongly suspected that there was illegal discharge from some moored vessels and that some people who lived aboard vessels long-term simply moved every two months to avoid paying mooring fees.Mr Hall called for properly regulated moorings with weekly or monthly fees payable, and for rangers to check and regulate vessels’ discharge rates.

    Helena Gulash, representative of the local Kabi Kabi people, and Tony Haslam from Noosa Integrated Catchment Association (NICA), also addressed the jury.

    Mr Haslam spoke in favour of an integrated approach and recommended the Noosa River Plan as a good resource.

    Council clarified that while some actions within the Noosa River Plan had been implemented, others were more complex and Council has no authority, nor dedicated funds devoted to these specific river management activities.

    Ms Gulash said the traditional owners had been managing the river’s natural resources with a sophisticated system for thousands of years and that the river was like a bloodline flowing through the country.

    Ms Gulash also advocated a broader catchment approach with sensitivity to indigenous sacred and cultural heritage sites.

    The jury meets for a fourth time to focus on its key recommendations to Council on November 11. All community jury meetings are held at Council Chambers and are open to the public.


  • Meeting #2

    almost 2 years ago

    The Noosa River Community Jury met on Wednesday evening of the 16th September and heard from Professor Stuart Bunn, Director of Australian Rivers Institute and from Paul Grossman President of Noosa Commercial Boatman's Association. Both speakers stayed on to work with the Jurors in smaller groups answering questions and discussing the issue. The Jury have requested more information about specific issues and wish to hear from MSQ.

    The main focus of Stuart's presentation was to emphasise how lucky Noosa was to have a river in such good health, that Noosa should "cherish" its river because it was a rarity worldwide.... Continue reading

    The Noosa River Community Jury met on Wednesday evening of the 16th September and heard from Professor Stuart Bunn, Director of Australian Rivers Institute and from Paul Grossman President of Noosa Commercial Boatman's Association. Both speakers stayed on to work with the Jurors in smaller groups answering questions and discussing the issue. The Jury have requested more information about specific issues and wish to hear from MSQ.

    The main focus of Stuart's presentation was to emphasise how lucky Noosa was to have a river in such good health, that Noosa should "cherish" its river because it was a rarity worldwide. Most river systems were facing enormous pressures of overpopulation and climate change.

    Paul Mr Grossman said commercial boat owners were concerned about communication between river regulators, the lack of lighting on vessels in the river, congestion at commercial jetties and what they see as a need for more regulation enforcement.

    The next meeting will be held 6pm-9pm Wednesday October 14 at Council chambers and observers are welcome.

  • First Meeting Saturday August 22nd

    almost 2 years ago

    Noosa's 26-member second Community Jury met for the first time on Saturday August 22. The Jury heard a presentation from Council's Jan Maddin, Environment Officer (Rivers &Coast) Planning and Environment Branch.

    Jan focussed her presentation on identifying the underlying issues and explaining the current roles of various state departments and of Council involved in the management of the Noosa River.

    Jurors were also taken on a ferry trip to witness first-hand, the current status of the Noosa River and heard a commentary highlighting changes over time.

    The Jury finished the day by compiling a list of what more they wanted... Continue reading

    Noosa's 26-member second Community Jury met for the first time on Saturday August 22. The Jury heard a presentation from Council's Jan Maddin, Environment Officer (Rivers &Coast) Planning and Environment Branch.

    Jan focussed her presentation on identifying the underlying issues and explaining the current roles of various state departments and of Council involved in the management of the Noosa River.

    Jurors were also taken on a ferry trip to witness first-hand, the current status of the Noosa River and heard a commentary highlighting changes over time.

    The Jury finished the day by compiling a list of what more they wanted to hear about and from whom. Council and NewDemocracy are now working on that list to deliver research and speakers to the Jury when they next meet on September 16.