RESIDENTS of Mount Warrigal have welcomed a $20,000 grant to clean up the foreshore of Lake Illawarra, but are calling for a long term solution.
A petition signed by almost 100 residents who live along Reddall Parade, between Konrads Road to Madigan Boulevard, helped the Foreshore Improvement Group (FIG) bring the matter to the attention of council.
The FIG group expressed concerns about the deterioration of the Lake foreshore due to the build-up of casuarinas, weeds, lantana, bracken and other exotic plants.
At the June 10 council meeting, in response to the resident concerns Shellharbour City Council committed a $20,000 funding package to address the problem. However, spokesperson for FIG John Davey said while they welcomed funding, they were concerned on the sustainability of the commitment as the plan did not address the main problem.
“The number one problem is the casuarinas which have colonised and become a trap and haven for weed along the strip - as well as bracken, lantana and other exotic plants,” Mr Davey said.
“Our concern is that $20,000 is just the start and that will only be used for some weeding and some removal, but won’t fix the casuarina problem at all.
“In fact, the works could do just the opposite and create a greater open space for the casuarinas to open up and spread further.”
A council spokesperson said the council had previously managed the foreshore in partnership with Lake Illawarra Authority and were now, “formulating a management plan specifically for this site to address the diversity of recreational and community requirements of this location."
"Council has the management responsibility for the site and the Office of Environment and Heritage under relevant legislation informs council's management of this site. "
The spokesperson said there was now a draft vegetation management plan and consulting an external source for a future management plan.
‘‘This includes the removal of dead wood and environmental weeds,” the spokeswoman said.
“In addition, a consultant will be engaged to conduct a vegetation survey and map the existing vegetation along the Lake Foreshore to identify vegetation communities. This information will be used in the final Vegetation Management plan.”
Mr Davey said the FIG group were working closely with Shellharbour councillors and it was vital that a longer term plan be considered.
Anyone wanting to contact FIG can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on John Davey 0428 102 038.