Hope Island SE Qld - a happy ending?

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Hope Island SE Qld - a happy ending?
From: Terry Pacey <>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 18:31:03 +1000
The swamp at Hope Island which has had such an impact on the study of
Australian Painted Snipe has remained at a constant height throughout the
drought which is still raging on the Gold Coast.  It was assumed that a
spring was filling the swamp.

Two weeks ago, I received a telephone call to inform me that some workman
had entered the site, dug a large hole and the swamp was now dry.  A number
of checks revealed that Energex, who actually owns most of the swamp, had
kept their promise and not done any work at the site.  The Gold Coast City
Council officers who had helped protect the area were staggered and prepared
to castigate (that's not quite the word they used but is similar) whoever
was responsible.

Checking has revealed what actually happened.  The swamp was being fed, not
by a spring, but by a badly leaking water main.  The water situation on the
Gold Coast is such that, when this was found out, the main had to be fixed
immediately.  Subsequently, the swamp dried out.

There may still be a happy ending.  I have been informed that the council
officers are looking at ways that the swamp may be restored.  Pumping water
from the nearby creek is one suggestion but without rain, that would be a
never ending job and would also mean a change to salt water.  This is only
one of the ideas but I know that if it is possible to restore the area to
the "flooded drain' (thanks Dools) that it was, the Council will do so.

Unfortunately, my health means that I am no longer involved but the National
Parks officers, council officers and Energex officers are all keeping me

It does show how easy it is to make an artificial area that is perfect for

Thanks to all those who supported us when we were having the area protected.
It was not in vain.

Terry Pacey

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