Ecological Impacts

Apart from potential impacts on the important and sensitive hydrology of the site, the developer has indicated that water for the wave pool will be extracted from the Maroochy River. There are many questions and issues around such a proposal:

  • How will such extraction impact on the ecology of the river, both macro and micro biodiversity? At what rate would water be extracted?
  • If there is an intent to replenish the water in the wave pool, with what frequency and what impacts on the river ecology and balance?
  • What would be the implications for mineral mobilisation with acid sulphate and humic soils?
  • The Maroochy River is a declared Fish Habitat area – what impacts might a potential change in the salt/freshwater and pH balance have?

The Maroochy floodplain has significant vegetation communities which are Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems. These include the Coastal Swamp Oak (Casuarina glauca) Forest of South-East Queensland and New South Wales ecological community which is listed as nationally endangered - ; Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh community which is EPBC listed as vulnerable; and a population of vulnerable water mouse (Xeromys myoides). 

The recreational fishing values of the river are currently in decline, and this will only add to the impact on the highly lucrative tourism industry and valued past-time of locals. A full ecological study over time of the impact of any of the proposed changes to the floodplain should be undertaken before any consideration of development or any similar activity on any part of the Maroochy floodplain.