November 13, 2013

Swan Lake digging update

Is there a more splendid sight than pelicans coming into land, using their aerodynamic skills on a blustery afternoon? Yesterday I visited Swan Lake in the Port of Brisbane and watched many of them joining their mates at this freshwater sanctuary almost on Moreton Bay.

I was on a fact-finding mission: to confirm reports of alterations to the landscape surrounding the lake that had recently been 'saved' by Campbell Newman's government from the PoB's change-of-land-use proposal to turn it into more of this:
I found evidence that a digger had recently been at work. And where you used to be able to pull off Lucinda Drive to park and watch the birds from the shore opposite the old visitor centre there is now a line of bollards to prevent you, and a sign to discourage pedestrians from wandering.

I watched pelicans abluting and stilts and swans hanging out, and as I photographed them several container trucks hooted their horns, goodness knows why.

Later, I tweeted the three politicians who proudly posed by Swan Lake a couple of weeks ago after the announcement that the lagoon would be spared, in response to popular concern. I asked them if they knew what the digging was in aid of. I received no reply, but I hope they got the message. We will keep an eye on whether or not they keep their word. There was, you may recall, a biodiversity offsetting angle to this issue (see also Swan Lake: birds at risk in Bris, October 2013, and Reprieve for Swan Lake, November 2013).

This morning I rang the Port of Brisbane and asked why the digging and bollarding. You will be relieved to know that it is nothing more sinister than a safety measure. Apparently, the aforementioned trucks, on realising that they've missed Port Drive, have been known to do U-turns on this parcel of land. The bollards are to prevent that and the digging is an aerating prelude to restoring the vegetation.

Birdwatchers can turn off to the left just beyond and view from the grounds of the old visitor centre, the future of which has not been decided, I was informed.

You may like to read the PoB's press release on the Newman government's thwarting of their plans for Swan Lake, at–-resp. And look at some birds.
You know what a suspicious mind I have. I just can't imagine big trucks ever trying to turn around on this rough, sloping ground, at the bottom of a slope just after a bend. But what do I know of such matters?

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