$5 million creek rehabilitation project begins in Onkaparinga

Published on 10 May 2024

Mayor Moira Were and Amanda Rishworth pose with students from Reynella East College. The students hold signs saying '$5 million delivered', 'supporting healthy waterways' and 'revitalising our rivers'.

A $5 million project to rehabilitate and ecologically restore 5.3 kilometres of much-loved yet degraded creeks in Southern Adelaide has begun in the City of Onkaparinga.

Funded by the Australian Government through its Urban Rivers and Catchments Program, the five-year council project aims to restore the health of several creeks and tributaries running through Happy Valley, O’Halloran Hill, Reynella East, Old Reynella and Woodcroft to benefit native plants, animals and local communities.

The Urban Creek Resilience and Recovery Project will focus on Panalatinga Creek, Serpentine Creek and some of their tributaries, addressing common challenges posed by urban development including pollution, erosion, silt deposits, localised flooding, loss of native vegetation and exotic weeds.

Technical experts, Traditional Owners and the community will be invited to join forces with the City of Onkaparinga to plan and design nature-inspired solutions for the creeks, which are popular with the local community and provide a refuge for native wildlife.

The creeks – part of the Field River catchment – are connected to the Byards and Candy Road wetlands and nearby conservation reserves, which makes them important habitat corridors for many threatened species.

Key project objectives include:

  • establishing and improving riparian and aquatic habitats to benefit native species, including threatened species
  • improving water quality, hydrology, or in-stream connectivity to benefit native and threatened aquatic species
  • improving urban green space, providing community access to nature, and helping reduce heat-related impacts in urban areas caused by climate change.

The project will build on the success of the City of Onkaparinga’s award-winning Urban Creek Recovery Project, which improved the condition and connectivity of 62.5km of watercourse habitats between 2013–2018.

Comments attributed to Amanda Rishworth, Federal Minister for Social Services

“It’s great to see both this election commitment coming to life and life being restored back to waterways.”

“This project was informed by community needs. The local community were involved in the design phases and there will be many more opportunities for people to get outside and get involved with this project.

“This funding is part of the Australian Government’s broader Nature Positive Agenda which aims to leave Australia’s environment in a better state and help protect communities from the heat-related impacts of climate change.”

Comments attributed City of Onkaparinga Mayor, Moira Were

Onkaparinga’s communities cherish their local environments, which is why we want to work with them to restore these special creeks to their former glory.

Activities we expect to undertake over the next five years include removing exotic weeds, litter, debris and silt; improving stormwater infrastructure; installing sedimentation ponds; revegetation with local native species; removing concrete channels; and facilitating greater community involvement through planting events, signage and improved access points.

Improving the health and function of these watercourses will provide better habitat for local plants and wildlife, and more inviting spaces for our community to connect with nature. We’re grateful for the Australian Government’s significant investment in Onkaparinga’s environment.