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Willoughby City Council has resolved to work with the NSW and Australian Governments to enhance and protect Flat Rock Creek in the wake of the recent devastating pollution incident.

At its 12 December meeting, the Council endorsed the recommendations of a Mayoral Minute which outlines a series of actions the Council will take to fight for Flat Rock Creek’s natural qualities and ecological health.

“Flat Rock Creek is a much-loved environmental and recreational asset and therefore the harrowing scenes from last week’s contamination incident deeply affected the Willoughby community,” Willoughby Mayor Tanya Taylor said.

“The Council has endorsed a range of actions which can be taken to help the Creek bounce back and return better than ever.”

Willoughby Mayor Tanya Taylor

These actions include:

  • Advocating for NSW Government regulatory action to ensure the site at the centre of last week’s fire, which may have triggered the pollution incident, has a sufficient on-site detention tank which would act as a buffer to absorb pollutants leaving the site
  • Continuing to work on new projects that improve water quality in the catchment, including the creation of natural wetland and pond areas, additional gross pollutant traps and the naturalisation of existing sections of concrete culverts, and if necessary seeking NSW and Australian Government support for these projects
  • Continuing to raise concerns about the Beaches Link project, in particular the Flat Rock Drive construction site which has the potential to cause significant damage to the natural qualities of the Flat Rock Gully area; and
  • Asking for the NSW Environment Protection Authority to disclose, as soon as possible, action taken to date, results of tests and recommendations for remediation.

Mayor Taylor said the Council had, in recent years, undertaken a significant investment in the waterway’s natural health.

“In this catchment, we currently have four gross pollutant traps to trap waste before it enters the waterway and 15 bio-filtration devices, which are effectively gardens on the side of the road which intercept and help filter storm water,” Mayor Taylor said.


“Our actions have, in part, helped drive a gradual improvement in the water quality of the catchment since 2015/16.

“The Council intends to install a further ten bio-filtration devices in this catchment over next 24 months, with three under construction at the moment. We also undertake quarterly testing of water quality.

“With the support of my fellow Councillors, and hopefully with the backing of the NSW and Australian Governments, we now want to take the next steps to protect and enhance the catchment into the future.”

To stay up-to-date, and assist with saving Flat Rock Gully, see the Save Flat Rock Gully Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/490800731366523