Bunyip Swamp
Trenayr Agricultural Research Station
The issue of degradation of Bunyip Swamp through cattle grazing and forestry operations by Forests
NSW, was brought to the Clarence Environment Centre's attention in August 2006. We in turn
brought the issue to the attention the Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition (CVCC). As a result
of a discussion with members, a letter was written to the Primary Industries Minister, Mr
McDonald, protesting the degradation, highlighting the following:
Cattle accessing the wetland, causing pollution and destruction of riparian vegetation.
Inappropriate plantings of introduced pine species in the plantation, pointing out that pines are
becoming a problem in national parks and wilderness areas.
Clearing and cultivation in too close proximity to the wetland, with obvious implications for
potential siltation and chemical run-off.
The destruction of old-growth paddock trees which provide critical habitat for a broad range of
native fauna.
Mentioning the research facility's work on hybridisation, we sought an assurance from the
Minister that these hybrid species would not impact on native populations, in the way the
introduction of the Cadagi gum in the late 1970s had done.
Two months later (22nd
October) Mr McDonald has yet to respond. In the interim, however, we
arranged a meeting with the Manager of the Ag Station, Mr Phil Dawes, on Tuesday 29th
August, at
which a positive discussion was undertaken, with Mr Dawes expressing a desire to protect the
wetland.
Mr Dawes explained that there was no detailed management plan for the wetland, only broad
management guidelines. He also told us he had been approached two months previously by Jeremy
Challacombe from Wetland Care Australia who had expressed a desire to form a management team
to work on plans for the protection of the swamp. At about the same time Mr Dawes was
approached by Peter Turland, a TAFE student, offering to prepare a Management Plan as a part of
his studies.
It was agreed therefore that we contact interested parties to undertake a site visit which took place
on Tuesday 12th
September. In attendance was Mr Greg Clancy, an ecologist with an intimate
knowledge of the wetland, Leonie Blain, and Patricia and John Edwards, led by Mr Dawes.
Part of the Bunyip Swamp wetland at the Department of Primary Industry research facility at Trenayr, near Grafton.