Update on planned Kingston waterway maintenance

17 March 2023

The waterways in the Kingston & Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) are a significant part of the heritage fabric of the site and like the rest of Kingston, need regular maintenance.

We understand the community has strong interest in the health and maintenance of the waterways and wanted to provide you with an update on this important work.

KAVHA is positioned between the upstream water run-off that impacts the site and a downstream discharge that directly affects the marine environment. There are also acid sulphate soils within the site, which if disturbed or unmanaged, can result in negative impacts on water quality, human health, agriculture, infrastructure, animals and plants.

The routine waterways maintenance has necessarily been put on hold in recent times, to allow environmental assessments to be carried out, to make sure maintenance works do not significantly affect the soil or water quality.

The Department is now finalising a waterway management plan. This plan has been developed based on scientific advice from the CSIRO, which provided detailed guidance on actions and best practice implementation, aimed at minimising any impacts on water quality. The plan will be made publicly available once finalised.

On an annual basis and as rainfall events allow, the team will remove introduced plant species and woody weeds from Kingston’s waterways, including the removal of dead vegetation from the waterways. This will be done both with hand tools such as brush cutters and, where appropriate, mowers and small tractors with slashers, to minimise soil disturbance. A small excavator may be used in the channels. Material retrieved will be left on the ground to dry then trucked off site for composting. The small excavator will only be used in the channel.

The works will be staged to allow for any loose material to be trapped in a segment of existing vegetation, minimising the release of any debris and allowing for some regrowth.

The works are planned to commence as soon as possible and will be determined by access and weather events. We will notify the community when works are under way.

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, March 2023