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Flat Rock Creek improvement project

The City is seeking to naturalise and improve Flat Rock Creek through the development of the Flat Rock Creek Improvement Project. The objectives of this project are to identify and implement the best options to realise benefits including:

  • increased flushing of Flat Rock Creek by smaller rainfall events
  • improved water quality and ecological health
  • reduced public health risks associated with poor water quality and algal blooms
  • decreased accumulation of sediment in the mid and lower reaches of Flat Rock Creek
  • increased flood mitigation potential;
  • enhanced surrounds for the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
  • improved aesthetics and
  • augmentation of the interdependent and dynamic relationship between the Flat Rock Creek community and the water environment.

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An image of Flat Rock Creek showing build up of sediment and vegetation
An image showing the flow of Flat Rock Creek over the beach to the ocean
An image of vegetation around Flat Rock Creek

Flat Rock Creek is currently in poor condition, with large amounts of sediment deposited in the lakes and lagoons which have contributed to poor water quality. Sediment transport within catchments is a natural process, however the dynamics within the catchment have been highly altered resulting in increased sedimentation in some areas and decreases in others. The lakes and lagoons are currently filling with sediment and without intervention will continue to do so. Ongoing sediment accumulation will reach a point where it might increase flood impacts.

As with all urbanised catchments, the hydrology has also been severely impacted. Several detrimental geomorphic processes are evident within the catchment. Most of these are associated with natural stream processes, exacerbated by variations in discharge, land use and low density or absent riparian vegetation.

The replacement of the existing culvert-style bridge in Teemangum Street with a single span bridge structure will improve the water flow in the lower reaches of the creek and the natural connection between the creek and the ocean. Construction works on the Teemangum Street bridge are scheduled to commence in January 2022 with an anticipated completed date of June 2022. It is anticipated other service providers will relocate their services in the second half of 2021 prior to the commencement of the bridge works.

Improvement project progress

In 2018 the City engaged a consultant to identify options to improve Flat Rock Creek, focusing on water quality, ecological health, aesthetics and flood mitigation potential. This involved community and stakeholder engagement, development of conceptual options and identification of the next steps to progress the project.

Community and stakeholder consultation included:

  • two public community meetings
  • pop up tent on site in Len Wort Park to gauge community views
  • a stall for community consultation and information at the Currumbin night markets on two occasions
  • consultation and liaison with traditional owners
  • engaging with community groups including Tugun Progress Association, Friends of Currumbin, Disabled Surfers Association, Gecko, Tugun Girl Guides, Watergum, Surfrider Foundation and
  • consultation and negotiation with the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Improvement project future steps

The Flat Rock Creek Improvement Project is a long-term plan for improving Flat Rock Creek. The Project, which must take into account the views and needs of the community and other stakeholders, is likely to be implemented in stages over a number of years.

The options analysis, which included extensive consultation with the community and other stakeholders, has now been completed. The next steps in the project include developing a business case and determining the priority actions and the timeline for implementation.

Further updates on this project will be provided in due course.

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