The old site of the tap. Close to the protection of the trees, it was a popular place for all kind of birds.

The old site of the tap. Close to the protection of the trees, it was a popular place for all kind of birds.

We visited Tempe Reserve today & discovered that the tap at the western picnic kiosks has been removed.

Now I appreciate that Marrickville Council needed to do something about the tap in this location. Cars are not permitted in this area, yet they still come & the tap had been run over a couple of times.  Once it was broken off by a car, resulting in significant flooding to the area.  Also, people dump burning barbeque coals underneath this tap every week.

The tap water went directly onto the grass, so over time a bit of a soil recess was created underneath the tap.  This recess functioned as an important source of fresh water for local wildlife, especially birds.  Not just a few Australian White Ibis, but also Magpie larks, Grey Butcherbirds, Crested pigeons, three families of Magpies, White-faced herons, Galahs, Cockatoos, Noisy miners & the odd Raven.  It was a great place to watch birds drinking & bathing.

Marrickville Council attached a new tap near the back panel of the steel gas barbeque enclosure.  It is set above a deep pit, which is covered by a grill. It has been constructed so that it completely denies animals & birds any opportunity to have a drink of fresh water.

It is not unusual to see sources of fresh water available for wildlife in parks.   Marrickville Council has installed lovely stainless steel containers under taps for dogs & other wildlife in Newtown parks.  It would not have been hard for Marrickville Council to fix this area around the tap to make it a nicer experience for people to use, but to also provide a controlled source of water for dogs & wildlife.

All Council needed to do was concrete a small area around the tap, making a shallow bowl-shaped recess for fresh water to collect to provide for wildlife & any thirsty dogs using the park.  Instead they have set up a system that excludes even the smallest chance of wildlife accessing fresh water.

How do you support biodiversity when there is no fresh water? Why take this uncompassionate approach to solving a problem that some irresponsible humans created?  And what is worse is that removing the tap from its old location leaves a unencumbered space for one thing alone: MORE CARS being able to come into this area & park between the kiosks & the Cooks River Valley Garden on which Marrickville Council just spent lots of money to renovate.

A poor result all round: take essential water from the wildlife & give more parking space for cars that should never park there anyway.  And of course coal fired barbeques that the signs say are not allowed will continue to happen because Marrickville Council fails to enforce its own rules.

The new tap.  Wildlife-proof.

The new tap. Wildlife-proof.