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Catchments, rivers and creeks



It’s often said that our waterways - rivers, streams and creeks - are like the arteries of the environment.

They play an important role in the functioning of the greater system - in this case the catchment. They provide water for habitat, household use, industry, agriculture and recreation. And just like our arteries, need to be cared for to ensure they’re in good working order.

Campbelltown's catchments

Most of Campbelltown’s Local Government Area (or LGA) drains into the Georges River catchment, while a smaller area drains into the Nepean River catchment.

The Georges River catchment covers an area of almost 1000 square kilometres, and supports a range of land uses, including market gardens, agriculture, mining, industrial manufacturing, landfill and army firing range.

While the catchment is highly urbanised in some areas, large areas of the bushland surrounding the river - including remnant floodplain forests of the Cumberland Plain - are some of the most pristine in western Sydney. A large corridor from Appin to Glenfield has been protected as part of the Georges River Regional Open Space Corridor, which includes:

The Georges River and Nepean river help to naturally define our local area and provide limitless opportunity for getting outdoors and connecting with nature.  Join in on one of our Bush Explorers events or become a Bushcare Volunteer.

What is a catchment?

As the name suggests, a catchment is an area of land that catches water as it flows through the landscape.  

Catchments can be further broken down into sub-catchments, which are simply the smaller areas of land that drain into a particular area through the smaller watercourse features like creeks, streams and wetlands.

The plants, trees, rivers, creeks, soils and geology of the area are all part of the catchment, and so are the man made elements of the land – the houses, roads, factories, farms, and businesses that make up the landscape.

All of these elements are connected by our waterways. For this reason, everything that occurs within a catchment can affect the health of the waterways and surrounding environment.

We all have a role to play in protecting our waterways and following these simple steps will help reduce pollutants from entering our waterways: 

  • Wash your car on the grass and let your lawn soak up the nutrients from the detergent
  • Bin your rubbish, including cigarette butts, and put recycling in its place
  • Never tip unused paints or oils down the drain or sink. Contact Council for proper disposal practices of chemical substances or come along to Council's Chemical Clean Out day  
  • Sweep leaves and dirt from driveways and gutters, and reuse it as mulch – your garden will love it
  • Scoop up your pet’s droppings and dispose of them in the bin
  • Keep grazing animals safely away from online dams
  • Go native! Fill your garden with endemic Australian plant species and reduce the spread of weeds through the catchment
  • Waste products can clog drains and cause wastewater to back up and overflow into homes, backyards and local waterways - wipes, tissues, nappies and hygiene waste all belong in the bin.

Georges Riverkeeper

Georges Riverkeeper is the business name of the Georges River Combined Council’s Committee (GRCCC). Formed in 1979 by councils with a collective responsibility for the health of the Georges River to work together to improve its environmental condition and ongoing management.

The eight member councils – Bayside Council, Campbelltown City Council, City of Canterbury Bankstown, Fairfield City Council, Georges River Council, Liverpool City Council, Sutherland Shire Council and Wollondilly Shire Councils – of the Georges River catchment make up the Georges Riverkeeper.

Georges Riverkeeper’s activities focus on five main Programs to guide best practice management to protect natural resources and improve liveability along the Georges River:

  • Catchment Actions
  • River Health Monitoring
  • Stormwater
  • Research
  • Education and Capacity Building

You can find more information about these programs in the Georges Riverkeeper Strategic Plan 2018-2022.

Georges River Combined Council’s Committee Incorporated is an independent and non-for-profit organisation governed by the Georges Riverkeeper Executive Group, who is elected annually and meet monthly.

A General Meeting is held four or five times per year and is attended by Georges Riverkeeper staff, Host Manager, member councils nominated representative Councillors, council staff and community representatives.

Georges Riverkeeper is one of Australia’s longest serving catchment management groups.

If you would like to know more about Georges Riverkeeper and the State of the Georges River please visit georgesriver.org.au

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