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Queenscliffe Herald Article - March 2005

Local Environmental Activity

Various individuals, groups and associations in Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale work to protect and enhance our local environment and its unique character.

One such organisation is the Swan Bay Environment Association. This group held its AGM in February and the activities presented in its Annual Report are a good example of the type of environmental work being done in our area.

The Swan Bay Environment Association was formed to acknowledge the importance of Swan Bay as a wetland of international significance and its aim is to maintain Swan Bay in as natural and healthy state as possible.

To carry out this aim the association is actively involved in responding to any issues which affect the Bay and where appropriate preparing submissions relating to these. This of course includes any activity and development occurring around the Catchment Area (i.e. all the surrounding areas that drain into Swan Bay). Developments can have a detrimental effect on the Bay in terms of the increased drainage and pollution which result from disturbance, construction and urban and farm living. Some of the recent developments in which the Association takes a concerned interest are Stocklands, the Harbour development and the Rip dredging, all of which will have some effect on Swan Bay.

One practical and hands-on action in which everyone can be involved is the propagation and planting of indigenous vegetation. This helps to ensure the continuance of the ecology in which the plants, birds, animals, insects and wetland areas interact to give Swan Bay and its surrounds its unique and valuable character. The Community Indigenous Plant Nursery in Nelson Rd holds regular working bees to grow the special plants of the area. The plants are used for re-vegetation, and residents are encouraged to use them in their gardens also, as they are well adapted to local conditions.

In addition to these two activities of protection and re-vegetation, the Association issues a newsletter, collects information and research on Swan Bay and promotes public awareness of the importance of the Bay. Swan Bay’s value has been recognised by its inclusion in the Marine Park system.

The local schools are also keenly involved in local environmental activities, including re-vegetation of their school grounds and areas such as the sand dunes, promoting a plastic bag free Borough, entering and promoting environmental competitions, stencilling the local drains to indicate they drain into our precious Bay, and many other activities. Our local teachers and students are to be thanked and congratulated for the great work they do in this area.

Many individuals also care for our environment - picking up rubbish on their daily walks, helping on Clean-up Australia Day, turning up at tree planting working bees, etc. The Borough’s Outdoor staff do an excellent job maintaining the Borough, however they do not have the time and resources to tackle some of the ongoing concerns – in particular the huge problem of weed infestation in the Borough.

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