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As usual, the following is my understanding of the meeting & all mistakes are mine.
Riverside Crescent Subcatchment Management Plan 2010 – A resident who is also a member of the Subcatchment Working Party spoke in favour of the Report. He said that it was important for Council to publicize a description of the water-cycle. He said the rainfall in Marrickville LGA is almost double than what we withdraw from Warragamba Dam & only 10% of this water is used for drinking. If we managed the water properly, we could use less water from Warragamba Dam. He also said that many of the options involve
Marrickville Golf Course a significant area along the bank of the Cooks River. Large sections of the Golf Course can be re-vegetated, which will have an impact on biodiversity. He also said that many in the community would like to see better engagement & would also like to be involved in many activities such as trees, verges, kerbs, footpaths. He said the community could be notified & could be involved in the maintenance of these areas & the way these were done has an impact on water design.
Clr Tsardoulias was pleased with the Report saying it was overdue. Clr Olive said there had been good work on naturalization all along the river & that this will continue. Clr O’Sullivan said the Sydney Morning Herald that day had an article on environmental works done by Marrickville & Gosford Councils. She said that Council needed to be daring & the Councillors should encourage this. She mentioned recent works at Cup & Saucer Creek as an innovative model for stormwater management. Clr Peters said it was fantastic that one of the actions was that 85% of households were receptive to using recycled water. Clr Phillips said he was keen to see the works happen & we need to make the funds available. He said he was surprised at the level of toxins in Dibble Avenue waterhole. Carried unanimously.
I will write about the Riverside Crescent Subcatchment Management Plan 2010 in the following post.
Support for Greenway connection to the Cooks River Shared Pathway – The Marrickville Cooks River Committee in their August meeting asked for Council’s assistance to make representation to Transport NSW to have the Greenway shared pathway continue on from the Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill Light Rail project to the Cooks River. To do this the bridge over Wardell Road needs to be made suitable for cyclists by either adding a separate cycleway at the side of the bridge as an add-on or build a separate bridge altogether.
Clr Olive supported writing to the minister, as did Clr Phillips. Clr Tsardoulias said this issue was brought up 18 months ago & that it would be great to see something happening. Carried unanimously.
Awfully late notice – Bushpockets meets for a working bee at the Victoria Road Bushpocket – 10.30am-12.30pm TOMORROW Sunday 23rd May. They will be doing weeding & some planting. Please bring your own hats, gloves, tools & water.
In Bushpocket news – last weekend a group planted out a new site in Marrickville Avenue (off Livingstone Road, along the rail line, near the Greek Church). It was a great turnout with 16 residents from quite a small street joining in with an impromptu sausage sizzle. If you have a patch of land near you that you think would make a good Bushpocket let Michael know. It’s a great way to build a sense of community in your street. Contact details are in the blogroll in the left-hand column.
There will be a Sorry Day event at Wilkins Public School organised by Marrickville Residents for Reconciliation. Students of local schools: Ferncourt, Wilkins, Marrickville West, Dulwich High, Fort Street High & Tempe High will do art & performances to entertain you. Reconciliation activist Sally Fitzpatrick will speak on “What does sorry mean?” There will be a group poem composed & free ice-cream & cake for supper.
Sorry Day - Wednesday 26th May 2010 from 7pm. Wilkins Public School. Entry is via Park Road. Everyone is welcome.
Around 2 years ago someone organised landscape planting along the embankment of the railway line along Marrickville Road & on the other side opposite Frazer Park Marrickville. Masses of small native trees, shrubs & grasses lined the embankment. As they grew, they substantially improved the outlook of this rather stark, heavily cemented area on the Marrickville Road side of the embankment. The trees not only provided a visible sound barrier to the passing trains, but provided food & habitat for birds, insects & small animals. Eventually
it developed into a lovely thicket that was in flower & filled with birds when I visited a few months ago. I thought at the time that this should be done right alongside all railway lines as a norm.
Last week I saw that the embankment looked different. At least 65 small trees had been chopped down. Some areas of this land is hidden behind the brick retaining wall so there may have been more trees removed than I could see. I cannot understand why the trees were chopped down. They were not falling over the road, nor were they tall, large & heavy. It’s a shame because the area now looks picked at & has great gaps in the vegetation. I hope they intend to replant or decide to leave it alone so that any seeds have a chance to grow.
Marrickville Council has posted their intention to remove 8 trees from around the Dibble Avenue Waterhole Marrickville because they are non-native & regarded as environmental weed tree species. They are:
- Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) x 2
- Willow (Salix babylonica) x 2
- Chinese Tallow Tree (Sapium sebiferum) x 1
- African Olive (Olea europea) x 1
- Mulberry (Morus nigra) x 2
Council’s tree removal notification says: The Dibble Avenue Waterhole Vegetation Management Plan recommends the removal of these environmental weed tree species to facilitate the establishment of native vegetation & the control of weeds within the waterhole. All existing native trees are to be retained. A planting program including appropriate native tree species will proceed in June 2010 following the tree removal. Tree works will be undertaken after 1 June 2010.
I presume the deadline for submissions is 1st June 2010, though there is no mention of submissions from the community.
The following is brief information about these tree species.
CHINESE TALLOW TREE – Native to southern China, deciduous tree. height of 8m. Orange, red, purple & yellow autumn foliage. Clusters of greenish yellow & white flower spikes November/December. It is used as a major honey plant for bee-keepers. The fruit ripens in autumn. Birds love the fruit & disperse the seeds. Regarded as good street tree or small tree for the home garden. Costs up to $700 for an advanced 200 litre tree 2.5m tall.
WILLOW – originally native to northern China. Medium to large deciduous tree up to 20-25 mt. It has a short lifespan & flowers in spring. In my research, I could not find mention of birds dispersing seeds.
CAMPHOR LAUREL – large evergreen tree up to 20–30 mts. Produces masses of small white flowers which develop into black berry-like fruit around 1 cm diameter. The seeds are attractive food to birds who disperse them. Introduced to Australia in 1822 as an ornamental tree & now regarded as a weed in QLD & northern NSW. Noted for growing hollows early in its life whereas natives can take hundreds of years to develop hollows. It has a large root system that can disrupt foundations, drains & sewerage systems.
MULBERRY – small deciduous tree to 10-13 mtrs, native to southwestern Asia. It produces edible dark purple, almost black, fruit 2–3 cms long often made into jams & deserts. Good food for birds who disperse the seeds. Both trees are near units so presumably would have been planted as a food source.
AFRICAN OLIVE – Small evergreen tree 2-15m. Produces edible black fruit pickled as olives. Grown as a crop in Australia. The birds eat & disperse the seeds. Planted near the units so presumably would have been planted as a food source.
Despite living in the area for nearly 15 years, we have never been to the Dibble Avenue Waterhole. I had been told it was a gorgeous place & should go for a picnic. This has always been the plan so with some excitement I went to visit yesterday armed with my map courtesy of Marrickville Council. photo-dibble-water-hole The map showed a lot of trees & I hoped I would be able to spot the ones to be removed as I walked around. The map, past conversations about the place & my own imagination made what I actually saw when I arrived quite a shock.
Far from being a place of beauty, The Dibble Avenue Waterhole is a sad, forlorn place. Much of the vegetation is dead including the Willow tree. I walked through a small boggy park with a few old style play equipment to be faced with a tall fence topped with barbed wire. No entry for the public here. Just inside the fence is a pier that appears to be rotten. Stacked on that was a mass of dead vegetation. Beyond was the waterhole itself.
It was a still pool covered with what appeared to be blue-green algae. I would think that storm water travels to the waterhole & if I am correct, it demonstrates how animal poo, fertilizer & other pollutants can affect water as the algae is at epidemic proportions. I doubt the water has much oxygen in it. A few ducks paddled their way through the algae.
The banks are steep & it looks as though the area has been sprayed with weed killer as almost everything is dead. Houses & 3 storey unit blocks surround the waterhole.
It has the potential to be a slice of heaven in the Inner West as it is also next to the golf course & the Cooks River. If it were fixed, surrounding property values would soar. Never mind the mosquitos here. A bird sanctuary & water on your doorstep!
I had to find the trees from my vantage place in the park. I could see 1 dead Willow, but the other was out of view. The Olive & the 2 Mulberry trees were very close to the unit block & appeared small. The Chinese Tallow was in amongst a group of trees & I couldn’t isolate it. I could see only 1 of the Camphor laurel trees & that one was located right next to the back fence of a house next to the park. That tree’s canopy cascades over their house, so they may be pleased to get sunlight once it is removed. Then again, judging by the massive tree they have in another section of their back garden, they may not be happy to see the tree removed at all.
My opinion is that Marrickville Council is doing a good thing to replant this waterhole as it is in dire need of help. It has the potential to be fantastic & it offers sanctuary for wild birds, frogs & other insects & animals. Planting natives will ensure they have abundant food, homes & places to roost. It is also on the NSW Historical Trail so we have responsibility to keep it in the best condition possible. I will watch the progress of the Dibble Avenue Waterhole with interest.