An academic says any future development on the Gold Coast Broadwater will need to be built around a healthy ecosystem.
The Broadwater has lifted from a C-minus last year to a B-minus this year in the latest Healthy Waterways report.
Two proponents have submitted proposals for a development in the area as part of the Broadwater Marine Project.
Professor Rod Connolly from Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute says the Broadwater is under close scrutiny.
“The Broadwater [is] already intensively used and now being considered for further development,” he said.
“It’s true that really all players, all stakeholders, do acknowledge the importance of keeping that ecosystem healthy, it’s now a matter of who does what and how.
“The Broadwater has all eyes upon it now, it’s already intensively used for recreation and it’s a wonderful ecosystem at the same time and so when we lift our eyes and think about further development there then really all forces must go towards keeping it a healthy ecosystem.”
Meanwhile, Scenic Rim councillor Nadia O’Carroll says rehabilitating waterways can be a challenge in less populous council areas.
“In some respects it’s an advantage because that less intensive development puts less pressure on the waterways but then when you’re looking at rehabilitating and improving things then you obviously need funding to basically rehabilitate, educate and protect the existing waterways and riparian areas, so that can be a challenge,” she said.
She says damage to inland waterways sometimes is not always obvious.
“Unfortunately sometimes the waterways, the damage that’s done to them, we look at it mainly in terms of crossing them with bridges but we also have to look at ways in which we repair that because it is a very crucial part of our natural infrastructure but it often doesn’t get the same amount of attention as the infrastructure such as roads and bridges,” she said.