A pair of Black Swans and their four cygnets at Black Swan Lake. Photo provided by community group ‘Gold Coast Destruction- Save Black Swan Lake-Bundall’ with thanks.  You can find them on Facebook under this name.  

Today is National Tree Day & all over Australia people are planting trees & revegetating areas to create better biodiversity places for wildlife.

For me National Tree Day is a day of hope.  Hope that attitudes to the environment & wildlife improve drastically.  Hope that green spaces will be protected.  Hope that the community will not always have to fight all levels of government to retain trees & green spaces & hope that community attitudes will change from being tree adverse to tree positive.

So, I want to tell you a story that has (temporarilly) sucked out my hope. I first read about this on Facebook & thought it was a joke because it seemed so improbable.  I expected Joni Mitchell to come out singing.  Unfortunately, the story was nothing like that, just the sad, stiff ending that a lake was going to be drained & filled to create an “overflow” parking lot.

The Gold Coast Show used to be held at the Parklands Showgrounds.  The Gold Coast Show Society was forced to move the Show & they relocated to the equine precinct at Bundall.  Problem is, there is not enough parking for the expected 50,000 people who will attend this annual event.

So, the Gold Coast Show Society, in its wisdom, said they wanted to drain & fill Black Swan Lake, an established bird sanctuary located in the Gold Coast Turf Club, to create the necessary parking.  In 2014 the Gold Coast Turf Club put in a DA, which was approved by the Gold Coast Council.  Black Swan Lake would be turned into a car park.  Unbelievable to my mind.

About Black Swan Lake –

  • It is located in the grounds of the Gold Coast Turf Club in Bundall on the Gold Coast, Queensland.
  • The lake is 2.75 hectares of freshwater.
  • The lake is man-made & was created 30-years-ago in a bid to improve on biodiversity.
  • They were successful because 40 species of wild birds call this lake home.  “…more than 400 birds were counted in only one hour.”  See –  http://bit.ly/2vhPcoU
  • In 2014 the Gold Coast City Council approved a DA to fill the lake & create a car park. The community fought to save the lake & won.
  • “….just before Christmas 2016 the Council gave the Turf Club control of the Lake and the right to fill it. The Deputy Mayor is a Turf Club Board Member and several Councillors have honorary memberships of the Club.”
  • “…Mayor Tom Tate refusing to call the “borrow pit” a lake during debate about whether it would be filled.”  See –  http://bit.ly/2vhRRiE
  • On Wednesday 26th July 2017 pumping to drain the lake commenced. They want the car park ready for the Gold Coast Show late August 2017.
  • Right now black swans are nesting. The solution?  According to the community group ‘Gold Coast Destruction- Save Black Swan Lake-Bundall,’ the swans will be euthanised. You can’t have black swans stuffing up plans for an overflow carpark, can you?
  • This is at complete odds to the Black Swan Lake Proposed Wetland Management Plan viewable here – http://bit.ly/2eX4ysb “The primary aim of the Management Plan is to conserve the natural environment of the area while allowing compatible community access for appreciation and passive recreation.”

At the time of writing 6,238 people had signed a petition to save Black Swan Lake.  You can help by signing here – http://bit.ly/2v3Xlg6

Thank you to all those organisations & people who are trying to save this habitat.  Next I will post something positive for National Tree Day.

Black Swan sitting on eggs at Black Swan Lake.   Terrible to think this bird may be euthanised.   Photo provided by community group ‘Gold Coast Destruction- Save Black Swan Lake-Bundall’ with thanks.