Water reform

Mt Barker’s Laratinga Wetland is one of the town’s biggest attractions and most appreciated pieces of public infrastructure.
Each day it draws visitors, walkers, cyclists, bird watchers and families to what is one of the district’s most picturesque spots.
It has become a haven for native bird and amphibian species, including some rare migratory birds, which makes it also an environmental asset.
But many forget that the wetlands were made by the council as an integral part of the town’s wastewater system, filtering treated water before it makes its way out of the system to be reused.
Selling that treated water brings in about $1m a year in revenue for the council.
That’s a significant boost for a council under financial pressure due to the region’s rapid growth.
In a natural system like the Murray-Darling Basin, wetlands undergo a wetting and drying process that benefits the health of native flora and fauna.
There are merits in mimicking such a process at Laratinga, but it is a delicate balancing act.
It should not jeopardise the long-term future of the species that call the wetlands home and it should not deter the hundreds of visitors that use the wetlands over summer.
Cr Carol Bailey’s call for a slower process to replicate the natural environment to allow native species time to breed and prepare for the coming dry period has merit.
To develop a plan that maintains the biodiversity of the area, the amenity of the facility while allowing for the commercial aspect of the wetland is a difficult balancing act but should be investigated.

Anzac sport

The State Government decision to allow sport to be played on Anzac Day morning appears to have caught everyone off guard.
The Hills Football League, the clubs and the RSL have learnt of this change at the last minute.
The communication has been poor.
If has caused confusion and anger on the centenary of the Gallipoli invasion.
It seems the lines of communication in this modern world have not improved significantly from the days of trench warfare.

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