A Mooroopna resident has criticised the koala bridge built near Mywee as a 'joke' and wants more to be done to stop animals from drowning in plastic-lined channels.SOPHIE MALCOLM January 12, 2013 4:52am
Deborah Lynch and Bill Boyer want more to be done to protect animals from drowning in plastic-lined channels.
A Mooroopna resident says a bridge designed to prevent koalas drowning in plastic-lined channels is a ‘‘quick fix’’ and a ‘‘joke’’.
The bridge, constructed near Mywee in December, uses wooden poles to create a crossing point to minimise the risk of koalas slipping on the smooth plastic used to line the channel.
Goulburn-Murray Water oversaw the construction of the bridge.
However, Deborah Lynch says more needs to be done to prevent animal drownings in the channels.
‘‘Personally, I think it’s a bit of a joke really,’’ Mrs Lynch said.
‘‘I think it’s like the channels, it’s a quick-fix, they’re just taking the quickest, easiest option.’’
She said there were other options for ensuring water efficiency.
‘‘There are other options, clay lining, rock,’’ she said.
Mrs Lynch has photos of dogs, kangaroos, birds and other animals that she said had drowned in the channels.
She became concerned when the project first began in 2008.
‘‘It wasn’t long after the water went in that we found a drowned kangaroo,’’ she said.
‘‘The scratches (on the plastic) around that area would have covered a tennis court easily.’’
Mrs Lynch said safety measures, such as fencing and escape mats, often had gaps or were poorly maintained.
Ardmona resident Bill Boyer said his two Shetland sheepdogs, Gypsy and Jordy, drowned in a channel he believed wasn’t adequately fenced.
He said more needed to be done to prevent future drownings.
‘‘I just don’t even like thinking about it,’’ Mrs Lynch said.
‘‘At the end of the day, it’s human lives that could be lost.’’
Goulburn-Murray Water connection project director George Warne denied the koala bridge was a ‘‘quick fix’’ and said independent consultants had provided advice on it.
Mr Warne said nobody wanted to see animals drown.
‘‘As an organisation, we recognise we’ve got environmental responsibilities and we’ve got .
‘‘Certainly our concern has been focused on where the koalas are and that’s been based obviously on very heavily wooded areas.
‘‘There aren’t many areas, because we’re doing such a small length of channel with the plastic lining, that is a heavily wooded area with a koala habitat and has a channel.
‘‘We’re hoping that the bridge provides part of the solution to that problem.
‘‘We think it’s a fit for purpose option .
Mr Warne said G-MW was increasingly investigating different options for lining the channels including clay, the preferred option, but were faced with the cost and difficulty of transporting it.
He said the organisation had fencing and safety guidelines in place and ran an annual campaign to alert people about channel safety.
Mr Warne said G-MW also had a ‘‘rigorous’’ maintenance and inspection program and encouraged anyone who spotted maintenance issues to phone the organisation’s 24-hour phone line.
‘‘We’re very keen to listen and to reduce the risk,’’ he said.
Congupna trainer Scott Stewart will stick sprint events for now with his star pacer Bitobliss after he ran his rivals ragged in the Popular Alm Sprint at Kilmore.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
The Echuca Pirates will be hoping for a third win this weekend when they tackle the Wodonga Wolves.
Rochester Tigers take on Rochester United today in the Goulburn Murray Cricket Twenty20 match.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
Seymour branch has had donations of ponies, but is looking for more.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
Heathcote teenager Murray Colbert will be performing in the finals of the 2014 Lazenby Young blues Guitarist Awards.
Moira Shire Council says 36 cents of every dollar spent on staff costs is 'not an unusual number'.
Works on Edward River Beach to Beach Walk to be completed.
Further redundancies at Victoria’s largest rural water corporation, Goulburn-Murray Water, are possible, with more efficiency reviews being carried out.
Rotary's inaugural Community Policing Award goes to Detective Leading Senior Constable Jenny Parker for her work above and beyond her duties working with victims of sexual abuse.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.