Creek clean call falls on deaf ears


A Mt Barker man’s experience with the local council over a stretch of Railway Creek that runs along the back of his home highlights the problem that if a waterway isn’t bordered by a highly-utilised public walkway – like the hugely popular Laratinga Linear Trail – it can easily be forgotten.
Creeks are important waterways which are experiencing increased run-off caused by the many hectares of former farmland that are now covered by housing developments.
Water that once soaked into paddocks is now diverted directly into the area’s waterways – including Railway Creek – and the problems are likely to be exacerbated in future years.
But things other than water are often washed into these watercourses which only add to the increased stresses already placed on them.
They can become overgrown, inundated with natural and artificial waste, and a haven for feral animals if they aren’t properly maintained.
It’s a case of out of sight, out of mind.
In wet months a build up of vegetation and other waste restricts water flow, potentially raising creeks to dangerous levels at times of extreme flows.
In the summer months the vegetation and waste build up become an obvious fire risk.
The problems never seem to subside for immediate residents.
The disappointing aspect of Julian Havard’s case highlighted in today’s Courier is that he has been voicing his concerns about the creek near his home to the Mt Barker Council for years without success.
His requests for regular small-scale maintenance works appear to be legitimate, but, as he put it, this little problem has grown into a bigger issue because those minor works had not been done.
It is now a bigger and more complicated problem that requires larger scale and more expensive works than Mr Havard originally had in mind.
Mr Havard believes the region’s creeks are more important than ever and his requests for more maintenance efforts appear legitimate.
A review of this creek and all others should be undertaken as a matter of priority.

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.