Protect Ellmoo's Reserve in Sussex Inlet

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Shoalhaven City Council with instruction from Department of Primary Industry will be installing exclusion zones around large patches of salt marsh growing on Ellmoo's reserve which can grow up to 1 metre in height.

These areas will not be maintained by council (such as cutting the grass) which raises the concern that they will harbor vermin, which in turn will attract snakes. Public access to such areas will be impeded by bollards which may be a trip hazard at night without adequate lighting and exclude those with poor mobility to enjoy the reserve.

DPI and Council say these areas are of pivotal importance for fish to breed - this reasoning is absurd as these areas are only wet and deep enough with salt water for approximately 7 days throughout the year.

Community stake holder involvement in the decision-making process has been minimal with council organizing a meeting once the final decision had been made.

As a background, the reserve was approved by Council in the 1960’s-70’s and was constructed with material dredged from the canal development, therefore it is man-made.The reserve was intended for recreation use by the community and visitors alike which in turn adds value and growth to the town. The reserve has also served as an emergency evacuation area during bush fires and landing pad for the rescue helicopter.

The initial development did not flood during high tide nor develop ponds after heavy rain. At some point a Grey Water Pump Station was constructed in the centre of the reserve and during this construction process an area of the reserve was designated as a lay down for trucks, equipment and supplies. As a result the area became compressed and formed a shallow that now collects water after heavy rain and king tides. This issue was raised with council at the time but the damage was not rectified. 

We do not want this initiative to proceed. Ideally we want council to rectify the compression damage by top dressing the shallow areas to maintain the high water line intended in the original development. At least, keep the reserve as it stands and have the council maintain at the current level

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