Melville Times - - Opinion -

I READ about the saga of the drain be­hind Atwell House in the Swan Es­tu­ary Re­serves Ac­tion Group (SERAG) spring news­let­ter.

SERAG had spent time and en­ergy over many years clean­ing up what was a smelly and weed choked drain run­ning di­rectly into the A-class na­ture re­serve and marine park at Al­fred Cove.

Hun­dreds of vol­un­teer hours of reg­u­lar main­te­nance were con­tributed and thou­sands of dol­lars were raised to man­age weeds and buy re­place­ment veg­e­ta­tion.

SERAG re­planted the drain with veg­e­ta­tion, mainly sedges to ef­fec­tively fil­ter the con­tam­i­nants, pol­lu­tants and nu­tri­ents col­lected from roads, res­i­dences and busi­nesses around the Can­ning High­way.

Fam­i­lies of ducks, other birdlife and swamp tor­toise had be­gun us­ing it as habi­tat.

A re­quest for the drain to be slightly deep­ened and widened was agreed by two rel­e­vant de­part­ments in the City of Melville.

The con­trac­tor un­did years of SERAG’s steady work and en­vi­ron­men­tal gain when he cleared the drain of all the care­fully planted veg­e­ta­tion and pos­si­bly the crea­tures that were liv­ing there. That was in June.

On Au­gust 29, in a half-page ad­ver­tise­ment in the Melville Times, the Perth Surf Park sup­port­ers posted a pho­to­graph of the cleared drain with the cap­tion “The Surf Park pro­po­nents will re­ju­ve­nate this stormwa­ter drain that cur­rently washes pol­lu­tants from Can­ning High­way into the Swan River”.

The ad­ver­tise­ment also claimed that “the surf park will re­sult in nu­mer­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal net im­prove­ments in­clud­ing a re­duc­tion in fer­tiliser run-off to Al­fred Cove, im­prove­ments to ad­ja­cent stormwa­ter drains…”. Clear­ing the drain has seem­ingly helped the case of surf park sup­port­ers. TOM LUBIN At­tadale

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