Wetlands solution a work in progress

BEFORE: Evidence of stress to the mangroves after the water was drained from the site.
BEFORE: Evidence of stress to the mangroves after the water was drained from the site.

AFTER the future of the Yandina Creek wetlands took a turn for the brighter, the State Government has confirmed work is still under way to find a permanent solution.

A Department of Environment and Heritage Protection spokeswoman said on Friday while the wetlands were highly modified, there was work ongoing to find a way to protect the site.

"While the Yandina Creek wetlands are highly modified, having been used to grow sugar cane from the 1920s, the area retains biodiversity and waterbird habitat values," the spokeswoman said.

"The Minister (Dr Steven Miles) is aware of the public support for protection of these wetlands and met with key community members on site to discuss these issues.

"Officers of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection are working with the Sunshine Coast Council on a broader acquisition program and they will continue to look at options for protection of high conservation value land."

A DEHP investigation had found the closure of floodgates on the property about two months ago and ensuing drainage of the site in preparation of returning the land to a farming use had been lawful under state environmental laws.

The spokeswoman said there had been no mechanism under which the State Government could've stopped the drainage of the site.

However, an ongoing Department of Agriculture and Fisheries investigation was still considering whether charges would be laid against those responsible for the drainage of the site, after the issue of potential damage to mangroves on the site were flagged with the department.

A long-time campaigner of the site's preservation, former journalist Greg Roberts said he was hopeful that the latest developments, which had seen one of the floodgates reopened to allow the tidal wetlands to reform, would be the catalyst for a long-term solution for the site.

Topics:  office of environment and heritage wetlands

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