Not so baffling: Rockhampton Regional Council winning at sustainability

Rockhampton Regional Council aren’t taking any rubbish when it comes to polluting local waterways, and in fact have been recognised as a national leader in sustainability.

In 2021, Rockhampton Regional Council were crowned winners of two Australian Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards winning Environmental Sustainability – Natural Environment and Environmental Sustainability – Water categories.

Water and Environmental Sustainability Councillor Donna Kirkland said it was wonderful to have Council’s commitment to the environment recognised.

“Being named overall winners in the state, and then being nominated as national finalists, is a testament to many of the great initiatives happening across Rockhampton Regional Council,” Councillor Kirkland said.

“The overall nomination captured the diversity of the work that we are doing to improve on and contribute to the environmental sustainability of our Region.

“Whether it is Fitzroy River Water reducing energy usage and improving recycled water solutions, or the great work happening in resource recovery and waste management, to sustainability initiatives such as our Natural Resource Management and Living Sustainably programs just to name a few.

“Ultimately it’s the environment and our whole community that win from having these initiatives in place.”

Rockhampton Regional Council is one of 19 local councils along the Queensland coast working to support a healthy and resilient Reef through local government and community actions via the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) Reef Guardian Councils Program.

The Rockhampton Region has a direct connection to the Great Barrier Reef via the Fitzroy River.

What people do in their homes and yards, on their streets and across the landscape affects the health of our local waterways and the Reef. As part of Reef Guardian commitments, Council has been implementing a range of initiatives to address the key risks to the Reef associated with climate change, coastal development, land-based run-off and direct use of the Marine Park.

One such initiative was the installation of a Baffle Box (also known as a gross pollutant trap) adjacent to the Fitzroy River. The Baffle Box is designed to trap pollutants such as organic debris, rubbish and sediment that might wash off our streets and down our drains. The demonstration site is designed to raise community awareness about the importance of protecting our waterways and includes a transparent lid and interpretive signage to help residents physically see and understand the connection between our streets, drains and waterways.

The Baffle Box is one of a number of collaborative initiatives helping to better understand ‘what’s down our drains?’ and prevent the various land-based sources of marine pollutants.

For information on Rockhampton Regional Council’s Sustainability Strategy visit