Protection of Kellys Swamp

Subject: Protection of Kellys Swamp
From: Milburns <>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 21:48:25 +1000
I would like to add my wholehearted support to Alastair's plea that not only the protection but also the improvement of Kelly's Swamp and indeed the the whole Jerrabomberra Wetland complex should be given our highest priority. It is one of my perennial gripes that this jewel of the the Bush Capital is so badly neglected. I have written before to this forum and to the relevant ACT Government departments on the subject.

The screening of the swamp is now pathetic. Several additional hides are necessary and both screens and suitable re-vegetation are urgently required. Leaders of parties of school children should be advised that the 'lawns' in front of the hides are not suitable luncheon venues. At the very least perhaps a few signs warning would be revelers of the presence of some very impressive snakes would be helpful. An alternative cycle route for commuters should be established because this creates almost continuous disturbance. Dogs........ well we've done that one before to no avail. Photographers have been observed walking into the swamp! Birdwatchers have been observed walking down to the edge of the swamp in search of elusive rails! The foxes are a useful means to estimate the numbers of Latham's Snipe present but probably should be the subject of a meaningful control program.

As for the 'wetland' component, it is nothing more than a glorified weedpatch (admittedly wonderful habitat for Skylarks, Common Starlings and Eurasian Goldfinch amongst other protection-worthy species) with a liberal smattering of cattle and the by-products thereof. A far cry from the fens and water meadows that the term wetlands calls to mind. The desperately few wetter bits are infested with carp and, instead of being a nature conservation asset, appear to be a major spawning ground for this noxious pest, which ensures a continuous downstream supply. I have previously stated my opinion that this area could be managed such that it becomes a wetland of international significance and a destination on the itinerary of many international ecotourists.

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