Karaaf wetlands relief
THE Surf Coast Shire council has unanimously voted in favour of implementing immediate action to restore the Karaaf wetlands.
During last week’s ordinary meeting, council instructed acting CEO Anne Howard to immediately implement the shire’s wetland management plan and to ensure developers maintain these areas in accordance with their legal obligation.
Additional requirements included the urgent completion of Stretton wetlands, as well monthly reports containing the ALS Environment Services analysis from each Karaaf feeder wetland system.
The internationally significant Karaaf wetlands receives an estimated 60 megalitres of stormwater each year which is anticipated to increase as the Stretton and Dune estates continue to be developed.
The increasing volume of polluted stormwater and weed infestations have been well documented in the area, as well as the conditions of the feeder wetlands containing phosphorus, nitrogen and suspended solids.
Councillor Mike Bodsworth said the wetlands have a hard engineering function in screening litter as well as a biological function that is complex and requires maintenance.
“I think it is good to acknowledge there is a lot of work being done already some of the actions proposed in this motion are well underway,” he said.
“There is some significant maintenance liabilities so that the wetlands continue to perform at their fullest potential both in holding large volumes of storm water and to mediate that water quality before it gets into the natural environment.
“With a system like the Karaaf wetlands you have only a limited opportunity to intercept the water and get it to a good quality before it gets into that really important natural system.
“It’s fantastic we are doing what we can to help.”
The Greater Torquay Alliance (GTA) was pleased to see the Karaaf wetland motion pass unanimously.
“It is a start but there is a long way to go to make sure that stormwater controls in the housing estates that drain into the wetland are managed appropriately and maintained to ensure they aren’t choked with litter, blocked by sediment and have vegetation looked after,” the GTA said.
“This is particularly timely with the state government report and expert witness in the current Distinctive Area Landscape hearing saying the wetlands are being impacted upon by urban runoff and won’t be able to cope with more.”
The Karaaf wetlands are a topic of interest in the DAL report that may impact future development in the area. A final report is anticipated to be released by Department of Environment Land Water and Planning this year.