Connections “along the pipeline” with water policy decision maker, Steph Hogan
In this Water Chat, we had the pleasure to hear of the experience and skills of Tim Fichera at Bundaberg Regional Council.
After 11 years at Council, Tim now leads the Stormwater Management team, where proactive planning and priority allocations have become a focus.
Tim shared that in 2018/19 the formulation of Stormwater Strategy for Council was a key stepping stone to allow for a more sustainable approach to the planning and implementing of stormwater assets. Previously Council had been very reactive to where renewal and new projects were built. Through using a broad overland flow model for the area, along with detailed studies in specific areas his team has been able to provide solid evidence now where the priority projects are best located.
Along the way, Tim shared that keeping on top of what else is happening across Queensland has been vital to ensure an open mind to new and alternative approaches. Often trips to Brisbane and various conference and field trips are invaluable. Hearing about the Small Creek Project in Ipswich was one example where Tim was motivated to look at how this approach could be applied in Bundaberg. As a result the use of naturalisation of stormwater channels commenced and an initial pilot project at Belle Eden (before and after images below) has been an exemplar of what is possible.
In his role Tim, has spent time to ensure that Councillors at Bundaberg are familiar and understand the way this type of stormwater management can be provided. Along with the priority evidence his team, is now able to garner the support of the Councillors of where the multiple benefits of new projects can be best provided. In addition, looking at how these infrastructure assets become part of a whole of a Council projects has been a positive step as well.
This free flowing chat triggered plenty of questions from other local government, consultants, regional NRM bodies and researchers. As a lunch time online chat it was encouraging to hear how Tim’s work life in a regional setting has been so rewarding. Thank you, Tim.
Watch and Listen to Tim’s Water Chat here: https://youtu.be/6DgERYNR-ak