The ACT government has kicked off its new federally-funded waterways project, aimed at upgrading the territory’s water infrastructure and relocating wetlands.
The public works, it is hoped, will guard against rare flood events and improve water quality, while leaving native wildlife unharmed. Construction will begin in Tuggeranong before proceeding to other parts of the territory in the coming months.
“These kinds of projects are a win–win,” said Senator Zed Seselja.
“They create an even better environment and opportunities for recreation for Canberrans, and also deliver flow-on benefits for downstream water quality and river health for the Murray–Darling Basin.”
Water quality has been a big issue in Tuggeranong. It has been suggested that the area’s infamous smell may owe to stale water.
The developments will receive 90 percent of their funding from the federal government, and come as the latest instalment in the ACT Healthy Water package.
Tuggeranong residents will be mostly unaffected, except for some small bike lane and walking path closures.
Safeguards have been put in place to ensure the local wildlife is protected. Birds will “relocate themselves” while lizards and ground animals will be relocated.
“Protocols will be in place to deal with any unexpected finds, from turtles or snakes to shopping trolleys,” said ACT Minister for Planning Mick Gentleman.
Fish are a trickier issue. The government says it will take pains to identify which species of fish are which, and ensure that native fish like the Murray Cod are captured and put in aerated tanks before being relocated to Lake Tuggeranong.
The large population of carp will be less fortunate as the waterways project will double function as a pest control project.
Carp are a pest introduced from Europe and get a bad name because their destructive bottom-feeding habits damage waterways and rivers. They’re unloved by fishermen too as their bad taste means there is no market for them, at the family dinner table or otherwise. They have featured in countless control efforts over the years, of which the waterways project is the latest.