Stabilisation and preservation works at the Dibble Ave Waterhole in Marrickville are almost complete and revegetation of the stabilised banks has commenced.
The project coincides with the plans for Marrickville Parklands including the Marrickville Golf Course which in August was contentiously granted a 21-year lease by Inner West Council.
The waterhole has a further connection with the Golf Club. It is used to irrigate the clubs greens, and in August council amended the Golf Course Plan of Management to permit the club to undertake water extraction for the purpose of irrigation at a fixed level.
The waterhole was listed as a heritage item in 1999 as Marrickville’s last remaining unfilled brick pit but its significance now lies in its value as a rare inner city refuge for waterbirds. Over 63 native fauna species have been recorded at the site.
A spokesperson for Inner West Council said the ecosystem restoration is ongoing and the waterhole will be managed as part of council’s natural areas program which aims to restore pre-European invasion vegetation communities, improve soil health, and provide habitat for native wildlife.
Ball to the head
Council has resolved to conduct a safety audit of the public walking paths through the golf course.
This comes after residents in the vicinity of the golf course sent a letter to the Minister for Local Government seeking to overturn the council decision to grant the club a 21-year lease.
For any lease of community land, council must seek approval if there is one or more objection, and legislation states the council must not grant the lease, licence or other estate except with the Minister’s consent if a person makes a submission by way of objection to the proposal.
“Handing over such a large parcel of green space (25 hectares, including 1.6km of the Cooks River frontage) to one club with relatively few members for such a long time is a poor strategic decision for the community and the environment.
“It will mean a baby born today in Marrickville will effectively be deprived of accessing this space for their entire childhood,” the letter states.
Justine Langford, a Greens candidate for Midjuburi/Marrickville was a signatory of the letter.
“Kids are so restricted these days and spend so much time indoors, unfortunately because the golf course is in use every day, it does really limit public access,” she told the Independent.
“I think people have this perception, it’s a very utilitarian perception of what land and open space is, it’s either a sports oval, a golf course or a children’s playground.
“Ideally, we should have much vaster spaces and not just little pockets.”