24.9 C
Byron Shire
January 25, 2022

Wetlands vital for ecosystems and should not be developed

Latest News

Lennox Head forge ahead across four grades in local cricket

Local cricket is approaching the midway point of the 2021–22 season and sees Lennox Head playing strongly across all four senior grades.

Other News

Band Called Stereo soon to be legends of Byron

A new group out of Byron, Band Called Stereo, have recently recorded and released the first single from their new album. Nothing extraordinary in that, apart from the fact that two of the members have just completed Year Ten and the other two have just complete Year Nine

Sneaky Eats

Sandra Haslam There are times when the fullness of living life squeezes our ability to create our own nutritious and...

A new Mungo needed

A new Mungo is needed to investigate, report and comment, because the major media sure as hell ain’t! When is...

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption: what comes next?

The powerful volcanic eruption was captured in amazing detail, yet remains shrouded in mystery. The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga...

Disaster prevention pledge welcomed

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed a pre-election commitment from Federal Labor to invest up to $200 million per year in disaster prevention and resilience.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 26 January, 2022

There's still loads of stuff on in the Byron Shire and beyond

Along our eastern coastline are vital areas of coastal diversity – amongst them dunes, heath lands, wetlands, and littoral rain forests. These make up diverse interrelated, inter-dependent ecosystems.

One hundred years ago, government incentives encouraged draining of wetlands to promote agricultural grazing land.

This began here with the draining of the Belongil Wetlands area in 1913, when they were crisscrossed with drains (the Union Drains system) and other smaller draining systems, to begin the land use for grazing.

However, they were never good grazing lands as the soil was always essentially wet! One hundred years later, there has been a whole re-think on the importance of these lands in their relationship to estuaries and their integral importance to marine systems.

Now, up and down the coast these wetlands are being re-classified and restored, to name a few:

* the Chickiba Wetlands in Ballina

* the 5,000 hectares of internationally significant wetlands, Everlasting Swamp National Park near Maclean, along with the expansion of the Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area;

*  a water quality project at North Lakes.

In 2004, Wetland Care Australia, surveyed the whole Belongil-Cumbebin Wetlands and established a strategy for their restoration.

They made many recommendations for the rehabilitation of these degraded wetlands: to continue to revegetate with melaleuca species, and preserve the habitats for birds, frogs, invertebrates and other fish species.

Two thirds of fish stocks spend part of their life cycle in wetlands and estuaries. 32 vulnerable fauna species had been noted, and 195 bird species recorded to 2001 with this basin.

They stated that ‘the implications of any further development in this wetland complex requires consideration’.

This land was never intended for development, and was held back ‘subject to further investigation’, and never met the criteria of the State Significant Site (SSS) requirements.

It was perhaps the wisdom of the councils over that time, which appeared as inaction, that the land was not dealt with for development, although there were many ‘behind closed doors’ attempts at rezoning, until the Labor government stepped in and did its own mindless planning.

Currently, these wetlands are also the filtering systems for the West Byron Sewage Treatment Plant and any attempts at their removal for development will be disastrous for the whole estuary and the Marine Park.

Considering the interference from humans,  this wonderful estuary is remarkable still in its degraded state, but with this West Byron development there will be neither cow paddocks nor the essential wetlands that were meant to be preserved.

So Rose, have another closer look beyond the surface of your so-called ‘abandoned cattle grazing land’ and really see what we are about to lose!

Robbie Winter-Blick, Byron Bay


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Sunrise paddler with Rainbow Dragons offers new era for seasoned campaigner

Former long-distance paddling champion Brooke Harris has found new sporting life with the Rainbow Dragons and likes to take advantage of the new 6am Sunrise session in Ballina.

Far North Coast Comedy

Lots of comedy to laugh out loud at

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 26 January, 2022

There's still loads of stuff on in the Byron Shire and beyond

Taxi stolen at knifepoint in Tweed Heads

An investigation is underway after a taxi driver had his cab stolen at knifepoint at Tweed Heads.