David Gilet, Byron Bay.
When the development of the old sewage works was first suggested I wrote a letter enumerating the number of bird species that I had observed on the old sedimentary ponds. I think it may be appropriate to repeat this information.
I used to walk my dog past the ponds three or four times a week over a five-year period. I observed wood duck, pacific black duck coots, water hens, little grebes black swans, hardhead ducks while herons and egrets hunted around the margins. But that was just the freshwater birds – it was also used by pelicans, gulls and terns particularly during stormy weather.
The problem is that all of these birds are not present all of the time and there are times when no birds are present at all. It is nonetheless an important refuge for all local water birds. Also building houses along the area will restrict the north and south movement of animals to a narrow strip between the path and the beach which makes them vulnerable to predation. A developer will undoubtedly want to fill in the ponds which are also a source of drinking water for mammals and reptiles.