Scenes with which all Canberras are becoming familiar

To: "'COG List'" <>
Subject: Scenes with which all Canberras are becoming familiar
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 12:31:54 +1000

Abandoning my preference for first ascertaining a few facts, may I offer the following?


1)       The car burning is just the latest of several and highlights the various inappropriate uses the area is being put to. Trail-biking and wheelies are others, not to mention the litter.

2)       The suggestion that police rather than rangers should take action to enforce ‘nature park’ rules seems to me to be disingenuous and surprising.  Perhaps the police got the  reference because it was also a (minor) breach of a traffic regulation.  Setting aside whether rangers, if it came to the point, could arrest someone to prevent a breach, they can certainly prosecute offenders or, simply, warn offenders they will be prosecuted if they don’t desist.  The police are unlikely to rate such references highly in their own priorities.

3)      If I were administering the area in question and getting persistent complaints, given impractical demands on staff I would consider closing the area to vehicle traffic at particular times (perhaps most of the time) as has happened at other reserves eg the parking area at Acacia Inlet.  I personally would find this inconvenient.  It is all right for fit young chaps like Martin to jog in daily from Carwoola, but elderly people like myself have a limited range – perhaps 30 metres if carrying a small pair of binoculars. 

4)      Incidentally, the closure of the upper access to FSP looks temporary to me in view of the road repairs.  However a phone call should settle whether that is the case.   


From: martin butterfield [
Sent: Thursday, 9 July 2009 4:57 PM
To: COG List
Subject: [canberrabirds] Scenes with which all Canberras are becoming familiar


This entry could be seen as relevant to Chris Davey's announcement at the June COG Meeting about the Round Table on Kelly's Swamp convened by the Chief Minister.

The attached image was taken in the car park at Kelly's Swamp this morning. >From te amount of foam I'd guess the fire brigade had extinguished the blaze. Had I been able to record sound as well you would also have heard two children (ages about 10 and 15 by my guess) riding min-trail bikes along the bile path past the hides.  Judging by the tyre tracks they had been up and down the track several times.

So I rang the Rangers at the number on the signboard outside the car park and left a message.  Some 10 minutes later I got a phone call from the police, to whom my message had been forwarded by CNP and gave them a bunch of details.  It was at least logged as a complaint, but I didn't see or hear any follow action.  After a further 10 minutes I got another call from Lisa one of the Southside Rangers for CNP to let me know she had passed the message on to the police.  When I advised that they'd already rung me she explained that the Rangers can't actually remove people from the Nature Park: that has to be done by the police.

Basically a brownie point for Lisa for passing the comment on so quickly.

I think unrelated to the above, but there were VERY few waterbirds around at either the Swamp or the sewage ponds this morning.  (Out of interest, the road up to the Office and the (previously official) entry for birdwatchers has been closed off, so one has to enter through the gate by the Swamp car park.

More interesting was a mixed finch flock by the entry to the cow paddocks (near the Shoveller Pool).  I saw at least 40 Double-barred finches, 10 Red-browed finches and 6 European Goldfinches in some leafless trees at this point. 


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