The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment called for comments on their new State Environment Planning Policy - Landscape Rehydration Infrastructure Guide (Dec 2021).
ICER, the Peak Body in Australia for Ecosystem Restoration, view as a Statewide priority the return to full ecological functionality of our river and streams/floodplain system.
Prior 1788, water moved more slowly across the land and there were many wetlands, swampy meadows and chains of ponds.1 Moisture was stored within the floodplain and was easily accessible to plants. During dry times, flows persisted beneath the surface. Water spread across the densely vegetated valley floor in wet times, distributing sediments and nutrients. These fertile floodplains were widespread and they contributed to complex ecosystem patterns and processes throughout the broader landscape.
Since Settlement in 1788, along with the introduction of traditional farming techniques and the overgrazing by introduced hard-hooved ungulates, our rivers and streams have been incised, degraded to drainage systems and their connection via the hyporheic zone to their associated floodplains disconnected. Read the full submission to State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) below: