Speech to Council, Dowse Lagoon Management

Thanks, Madam Chair. I just rise to speak on the Committee presentation today, and just pick up on what Councillor MATIC said about the work that was done down at Dowse Lagoon a number of years ago, between 2008 and 2012, and also note that a lot of that work was jointly funded by the Federal Government as well at the time, which was good work down there. But unfortunately, since then, in terms of weed management, what we’ve seen is, I believe, the officers and the contractors that Council engage doing everything they can within the budgets they are given, and they do great work, and I commend them for that.

But not enough allocation is given to that work clearly, because if you go out and have a look on the ground, the Para grass that is running rampant around that lagoon is now covering about a third of it. The water lilies, which are currently being harvested, which were almost entirely covering the Dowse Lagoon, while that’s a good project to get them out and to stop choking that lagoon, there are migratory birds that have been nesting on those lilies and there were baby birds at the time which this machine was going through and cleaning up those lilies.

So I just want to say that the officers are doing a fantastic job. I believe more resources are required to actually tackle this properly. I would invite Councillor MATIC to come out, and I’m happy to take him through some of those issues through there as well. Some maintenance has been done in opening up viewing corridors, which is good, because we want people to be able to enjoy that Ramsar listed lagoon, but more needs to be done. The work that the officers are doing on the ground is good; they just need so much more support, Madam Chair.

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