Graeme Roberts and Vanessa Tallon pictured at the Gasworks Creek restoration site.
Graeme Roberts and Vanessa Tallon pictured at the Gasworks Creek restoration site. Jamie Brown

Creek's amazing transformation

A COMBINED clean-up effort for Lismore’s Gasworks Creek, a waterway ravaged by urban run-off, has revealed much more than evidence of environmental damage.

The joint effort by the Richmond River County Council and Lismore City Council, operating on a shoestring budget, this week expanded the restored landscape around the creek – and in the process stumbled upon a dumping ground for stolen wallets.

The creek runs underground until it emerges under Keen Street, on the southern side of the Bruxner Highway, bringing with it spring water from Girards Hill and a host of mildly disturbing pollutants from the surrounding urban catchment.

However, most disturbing to the crew cleaning up the creek this week was the discovery of two women’s wallets, five individual credit cards and Medicare cards, three syringes and a long-bladed fishing knife.

All the material has been handed over to Lismore police.

“It is clear the area has been used as a dumping ground for stolen goods,” said project co-ordinator GraemeRoberts, from the Richmond River County Council flood authority.

Lismore City Council’s environmental strategic officer, Vanessa Tallon, said the formerly choked culvert was in the process of an amazing transformation, beginning with the removal of coral trees and Madeira vine and replacing those weeds with a balance of vegetation more suited to the site. The re-emerging creek will work as a filter for urban run-off, treating it naturally before it flows into the Wilsons River.

But in the meantime, local residents need to ‘take ownership’ of the creek, according to Mr Roberts.

People continue to dump fresh garbage in the creek, like plastic bottles, and much work is still needed to remove re-sprouting weeds.



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