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Sydney Water plans for bank restoration at Cup & Saucer Creek

The restoration will give a home for these Cormorants. They are sitting at the point on the diagram above.

I received some really exciting news about the Cooks River from Mudcrabs.  Sydney Water recently spent over $3-million removing more than 6,000 tonnes of silt from the Cooks River & now intends to naturalise over 1km of the riverbank at three sites.  They have called for tenders & work is planned to start in early 2013.

The three areas of riverbank to be targeted are at Whitten Reserve in Belfield, Flockhart Park to Beamish Street Campsie & the area in front of & adjoining Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland at Canterbury.  All planning diagrams for the three sites show the planting of many new trees.  This is a bonanza for the health of the Cooks River, the wildlife & the community.

From Sydney Water’s website –Riverbank naturalisation can take different forms, but generally involves the removal of some, or all of the steep concrete channel bank & creating a more gently sloping bank. This is stabilised with native plants, trees & rocks. Naturalisation creates a softer landscape feel & can greatly improve the riverbank habitat for native birds & other animals.  Wetlands can also be established as part of the naturalisation process. Wetlands have a significant role in improving the river’s ecology & health by treating stormwater runoff from streets & industrial areas, before it enters the river.”

Last year the Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland won the Highly Commended award at the NSW Stormwater Infrastructure Association Annual Awards for Excellence. Sydney Water deserved to win.  The wetland cost $900,000 & was money well spent.  Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland is a fantastic achievement & is very beautiful.  Lucky are the people whose properties back on to or face the wetland.  I’d love to be waking up to the sound of the birds in the morning.

From being a lawn with a couple of trees, it is now an important habitat area filled with waterbirds & other life, including turtles.  On top of this, the wetland cleans the stormwater coming down the Cup & Saucer Creek channel before it enters the Cooks River.  The community will benefit from the new works too, as we have already benefited from the environment of the Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland.

The habitat around Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland from the pedestrian bridge at the Sugar Factory to Mary McKillop Park will be extended & the lawn removed.  This is a good length in an area filled with waterbirds.  There will be new viewing platforms, new seating (great because there isn’t much), saltmarsh plants & gravel paths, plus many new trees.  The area from Burwood Road to Beamish Street will also have new trees, saltmarsh plants, a viewing platform & a gravel footpath.  Similar additions are planned for the area at Whiddens Reserve.

Slowly this beautiful river will be repaired from the terrible damage inflicted upon it over the last century.  The restoration works by Sydney Water will be a better legacy to bestow on future generations & I am quite excited about it.

You can download the plans here –

For more information see Sydney Water’s website –

Sydney Water plans for the area from Flockhart Park to Beamish Street

Sydney Water plans for Whidden Reserve



Showing the floating plastic carpet on the Cooks River at Tempe Reserve. I gasped when I saw this photo. The area covered in floating garbage is really large. Earlier the road was also covered in flood water. Photo taken by Valentina Mickovska with thanks.

Local resident Valentina Mickovska kindly allowed me to post her amazing photo of the carpet of plastic bottles & other items of plastic floating on the Cooks River at Tempe Reserve.  The photo was taken early yesterday when the Cooks River flooded.

Undoubtedly, much of the masses of garbage trapped in the rocks that surround Tempe Reserve were dislodged in the flood, but I also think that this floating mess could have added to via stormwater drains.  This photo clearly shows the need for a floating collection boom in this area to stop this kind of litter from fully entering the Cooks River ecosystem.

I have been surprised to see just how many stormwater drains enter the Cooks River without any means of collecting garbage attached to them.  In my opinion, no stormwater drain should be allowed to empty into the river without a collection devise that prevents plastic bottles, plastic bags & other litter from being flushed into the river uncontested.  Not just in Marrickville LGA, but also in all the Councils lucky enough to have the Cooks River flowing through their municipality.

Making this change should not be too costly for the Councils to implement.  The collection booms would go a long way in supporting both the Councils & the community’s ongoing attempts to clean up the river.  Preventing stormwater litter from entering the Cooks River would also have an immense benefit for local wildlife that live & feed on the river.

We also need a bottle return program because people are less likely to litter when they can get money for returning the bottle.

The same area of the Cooks River on a good day. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful place in Marrickville LGA.



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