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Hawker welcomes recycled Grange Burn Wetland.



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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: David.Hawker.MP@aph.gov.au Web: www.davidhawker.com.au

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

17 June 2005 HAWKER WELCOMES RECYCLED GRANGE BURN WETLAND

The Grange Burn Wetland is a great new asset for Hamilton and provides an excellent example of water conservation for others to follow, according to Member for Wannon, David Hawker.

Mr Hawker praised the Southern Grampians Shire, Glenelg-Hopkins CMA and Hamilton community on the success of the Grange Burn Urban Stormwater Treatment and Biodiversity Wetland.

“The Hamilton community can now be reassured that seventy per cent of their stormwater run-off will undergo treatment through the Grange Burn Urban Stormwater Treatment and Biodiversity Wetland before entering local waterways,” he said.

“The late break this year illustrates just how precious a resource water is in Australia, and it’s great to see local organisations working together to ensure its conservation - something other towns and cities could certainly learn from.”

The Grange Burn wetland project is a partnership between the Southern Grampians Shire (SGSC), Glenelg Hopkins CMA (GHCMA), National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) which is a joint Commonwealth/State program, and the Hamilton community.

“Through NAP the Australian Government has been a strong supporter of the project; and the GHCMA and SGSC have worked together extremely well throughout the planning and implementation stages of the wetland,” Mr Hawker said.

“The Hamilton Community has been involved at all stages and there is now an integrated community and agency advisory group that provides comment to the CMA and Shire on the wetland, and also the Grange Burn, Lake Hamilton and the wider catchment.

“Working together on the wetland project has proven to be a valuable exercise in improving the partnership between the Shire and the GHCMA, and also demonstrates to the Hamilton community the ability of local and regional government to achieve shared goals and provide multiple benefits to the community,” he said.

The Grange Burn Wetland project began life back in 2001 with the acquisition of a parcel of land along the Grange Burn on Hamilton’s west side by Southern Grampians Shire. At the time, there was support from a number of individuals in the local community to develop the area into a wetland.

Even though it had been used for cattle grazing for more than 50 years and had been extensively drained, the land supported a range of wetland flora and remnant riparian and floodplain vegetation (including some threatened species) and had the potential to be linked to the existing walking track along the Grange Burn from Lake Hamilton.

The wetland currently consists of two treatment cells, a northern and a southern cell, which take water from the Smith Street and Hamilton Place drains, separated by a remnant freshwater meadow in the middle of the site.

The site will now provide a local and regional educational resource, focusing on water quality and biodiversity enhancement, in particular habitat for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and wetland birds.

It will take a further two to three years to complete revegetation of the two treatment cells, the riparian zone and the other areas of the site and to complete the broader development of the whole wetland site, which will include infrastructure such as paths, boardwalks, signage, viewing platforms, bird hides and car parking.

Mr Hawker commended the Hamilton community for their initiative on an issue of growing national importance.

“The Australian Government’s National Water Initiative and $2 billion Water Fund are proof that water resources are now receiving the priority attention that they deserve,” he said.

“The Grange Burn Wetland is a progressive example of what communities can achieve together.”

Note: Attached is the design concept plan for the Wetland and a photograph of Member for Wannon, David Hawker, discussing the wetland project with Glenelg Hopkins CMA CEO Colin Dunkley and Water Quality Coordinator Mike Bowman.

Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100

project information bulletin GRANGE BURN WETLAND

The highlighted area is the northern treatment cell that is being developed during stage 2 of the project

The highlighted area is the southern treatment cell that is being developed during stage 1 of the project

The final design concept plan for the Grange Burn Wetland *Note - larger copies of the detailed plan are available for viewing at the Shire and CMA offices