Proposed removal of trees to stop flooding


The situation

The NT Government considered removing native trees at Rapid Creek in the name of flood mitigation. Experts say removing trees will not help to reduce flooding. Rapid Creek Landcare is very passionate about maintaining the creek's biodiversity and members volunteer much of their time helping to manage the area. They are apalled that the Goverment is proposing this action.

What is at stake

Riparian corridors are hotspots for biodiversity and provide habitat for an enormous range of flora and fauna. You can walk along the banks of Rapid Creek and find herons, egrets, kingfishers and honeyeaters. These birds in turn are dependent upon the fish, molluscs, insects and flowering and fruiting plants that also inhabit this area. Removing large, mature trees, as proposed, would be devastating for this important habitat.

Public meeting

Rapid Creek Landcare wrote a discussion paper regarding this issue. This discussion paper raised the concerns of the group, and set the agenda for a public meeting that was held in October 2013 with around 200 people attending.

What people think

The community puts a high value on the native trees at Rapid Creek. Professor Andrew Campbell, Director, Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, has put his support behind Rapid Creek Landcare and agrees that removal of riparian vegetation will have no contribution to solving the flooding issue. Read his comments here


Our call

Rapid Creek Landcare and the community called on the NT Government to: Stop wasting taxpayers’ money investigating vegetation removal as an option to mitigate flooding at Rapid Creek; and Immediately release their Rapid Creek flood mitigation studies and undertake consultation with stakeholders and the wider community.



In December the Environmental Defenders Office lodged a Freedom of Information application to the NT Government on our behalf to obtain the flood studies (which are held by 3 departments). Since then 2 of the departments have released reports (see Water Info page) but the Department of Infrastructure has refused to do so. 


This issue attracted a lot of media, here are some examples: