The Bremer Catchment

A quick Summary of the bremer catchment

Since colonial occupation began in Australia, the hallmark of a prosperous and “civilised” nation has been development. The Bremer catchment is a perfect example of what happens when industry and development are not adequately controlled. The inevitable “tragedy of the commons” not only effects sustainability goals but can also herald complete ecological devastation for entire ecosystems and environmental degradation to the whole river.

Early pioneers were attracted to natural resources which lead the initial drive into the area and several coal mines and limestone quarries were followed by timber yards, wool sheds, abattoirs and waste processing facilities. Now almost all available land is being used for agricultural production, mining, industry or urban development. The lower catchment was highly sort after and was quickly stripped of riparian vegetation as riverside land meant access to the steamboats that connected Ipswich to Brisbane.

Bremer Catchment requires significant managerial actions to ensure the sustainability of the industries and the livelihoods of the people who live and work here. We must act responsibly though, over exploiting the environment will have detrimental consequences. Climate change, population growth and the subsequent development of more land will continue to impact our lives and may develop even more unforeseen challenges to our catchment.

By working together as a community and following the best environmental management science, encouraging responsible farming and development, we can ensure our prosperous and sustainable catchment is protected for generations to come.

Bremer Subcatchments

The Bremer River is a tributary of the Brisbane River, located in the Scenic Rim and Brisbane regions of South East Queensland, Australia.

Bremer River Catchment

The river in the upper Bremer as far as the Rosevale region is in relatively good condition.

The mid Bremer has cattle and poultry farming, and some cropping with water supplied by irrigating from the river as well as bore water.

Lower Bremer transitions from rural to peri-urban and industrial, with the Amberley RAAF Base, open cut coal mines and a sewerage treatment plant.

Bremer Upper Catchment

Bounded on the western side by the Great Dividing Range and the Mount Walker area on the north and Mount Fraser on the east, the Upper Bremer River subcatchment includes the township of Rosevale.

Some of the issues here are managing both ground and river water allocations and weed management.

Bremer Middle Catchment

The Mid Bremer River subcatchment extends from Mount Walker to the junction with Western Creek in the north.

It contains remnants of Melaluca flood plain forests. There are issues of erosion and sediment loads in the river when it is flowing.

Bremer Lower Catchment

The Lower Bremer River extends from the junction with Warrill Creek at Amberley right through the city of Ipswich to the Brisbane River and includes Deebing Creek with the suburbs of Churchill, Yamanto, Deebing Heights and Ripley.

The city center of Ipswich is located here so, predictably this subcatchment has suffered much environmental disturbance and degradation since colonisation.

Warrill Creek Catchment

Although the Warrill Creek is the longest waterway in the area, the Bremer River was discovered earlier by John Oxley in 1824 and therefore named it the main channel of the catchment.

The Purga and Lower Warrill sub-catchments converge with the lower reaches of the Bremer River just before Ipswich City. This area is a major water backup area, especially in times when all three catchments receive high flows.

Warrill Upper Catchment

Like Reynolds Creek, Upper Warrill Creek with its tributary, Clayton Gully Creek, have their source in national park in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range west of Aratula and Tarome.

Managing erosion and seasonal environmental flows are issues for this subcatchment.

Warrill Middle Catchment

This tessellated subcatchment is bounded Kalbar in the south and by Churchbank Weir to the north.

It is characterised by flat undulating country with extensive irrigation, grazing and cropping.

It used to have issues with flooding, but with substantially lower annual rainfalls since 1980’s salinity is now becoming more of an issue.

Warrill Lower Catchment

The Lower Warrill Creek subcatchment extends from Coleyville (west of Warrill View) north to Amberley and joins the Bremer River on the easterly boundary of Amberley RAAF Base.

There are wetlands, a weir, extractive industries and pest problems in this subcatchment. Isolated pockets of Melaleuca Irbyana have been identified.

Bundamba Creek Catchment

The Bundamba subcatchment spreads from its junction with the Bremer River in the north, then south to South Ripley running to the east of Flinder’s Peak.

This subcatchment has many issues: Ripley is zoned for future urban development; it has salinity problems and is impacted heavily by industry, past and present.

Deebing Creek Catchment

Deebing Creek is a small catchment of 3457ha.

It consists mainly of medium density residential suburbs, golf links and some limited industry.

Intense housing and infrastructure developments are planned for the upper reaches.

Purga Creek Catchment

This tessellated subcatchment is bounded Kalbar in the south and by Churchbank Weir to the north.

It is characterised by flat undulating country with extensive irrigation, grazing and cropping. It used to have issues with flooding, but with substantially lower annual rainfalls since 1980’s salinity is now becoming more of an issue.

Reynolds Creek Catchment

Reynolds Creek has its source in national park in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. Along with its tributary, Coulson Creek, it feeds the seldom filled Lake Moogerah. It joins Warrill Creek just west of Kalbar.

An issue for this subcatchment is weeds such as Cat’s Claw, Chinese Elm and Giant Rats Tail strangling the streambank vegetation.

Western Creek Catchment

Western Creek arises in the foothills of and joins Franklin Vale Creek and extends to its junction with the Bremer River downstream from the township of Grandchester.

Issues include streambank erosion and weeds.

The Bremer Catchment Association Ambient Water Monitoring Projects

The Bremer Catchment Association Inc (BCA) reactivated a benchmarking ambient water quality monitoring project in June 2012. This project, running for one year, measured surface water quality at 50 sites throughout the catchment on a monthly basis.

The results of this project showed the mid and lower catchments were not meeting Bremer River environmental values and water quality objectives.