Central Coast Council currently maintains 24 high priority creeks within the former Gosford Local Government Area which have been identified through various Floodplain Risk Management Plans. The maintenance of these creeks is undertaken in accordance with site specific Maintenance Management Plans, which have been prepared for each creek system.
Inspections of the creeks are carried out at six to twelve monthly intervals, with additional inspections carried out following major storm events. The core objective of Council’s creek maintenance activities is to maintain adopted flood planning levels and to limit the impact of flooding on surrounding developments. This is generally achieved via creek stabilisation or repair works and through the management of sediment, debris and vegetation build-up.
Creek maintenance activities are regulated by a number of government departments and with the exception of emergency situations, works cannot be undertaken without the appropriate licences in place. Specific creek maintenance activities include:
- typha control: a plant that can congest waterways, alter water ﬂows and may increase the risk of ﬂooding in urban areas
- tree removal: the removal of non-native weed tree species from the creek beds
- sediment removal: where blockages occur adjacent to culverts
- noxious weeds: the control of in-stream woody weeds and smaller aquatic weeds.
Creek maintenance activities do not include removal of the following, unless under exceptional circumstances and with the appropriate licences in place:
- large woody debris: trees or shrubs that have fallen or been washed into rivers and streams. This debris is a significant ecological and structural component of streams and rivers.
- native riparian vegetation: vegetation on land that adjoins, directly influences or is influenced by a body of water. Riparian vegetation is found alongside creeks and rivers, areas around lakes, wetlands and on river floodplains.
The removal of large woody debris and native riparian vegetation is listed as a key threatening process under the Fisheries Management Act. A threat abatement plan has been developed which outlines management strategies to address this problem.