JDA Co. was contracted by Bundaberg Regional Council to develop a masterplan and vision for Saltwater Creek, in collaboration with landscape architects REALMStudios and environmental engineers E2Designlab.  The masterplan provides a long-term strategic framework to shape the waterway into a vibrant space that balances waterway health, flood and climate resilience, community, and liveability outcomes.

Situated on the southern side of the Burnett River (between Bundaberg Airport and Bundaberg Creek), Saltwater Creek runs through Bundaberg’s city centre and has a history of severe flooding. The catchment area spans 10.5km and is about 6km in length.


The mid 20th century saw large swatches of the natural creek converted into concrete culverts as a means of flood mitigation. Since then, assessments have indicated some of Saltwater Creek’s concrete channelling would likely require major replacement – and financial investment – within the next 10 to 20 years due to significant deterioration. This presented an opportunity to improve the resilience of the creek as well as its natural amenities which have been lost in past decades.


The masterplan aims to transform the waterway into an asset with multiple social and environmental benefits for the community. The Saltwater Creeks vision includes accessible spaces, amenities and social infrastructure where people and nature can coexist, and to mutual benefit.

As part of the engagement process, we engaged local First Nations leaders for their input on designing with Country and held multiple meetings with the local community. We also held a workshop with Bundaberg State High School students.

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