Friends of Maylands Lake lament ‘dire straits’ condition of lakes

Down to the waterline: Friends of Maylands Lakes chairman Geoff Trott.
Down to the waterline: Friends of Maylands Lakes chairman Geoff Trott.

A Friends of Maylands Lakes group was formed this month, following a meeting organised by Bayswater City councillor Catherine Erhardt and attended by about 100 residents.

The group’s concerns include murky water and the stench at 16-year-old lakes Bungana and Brearley, as well as an increase in mosquitoes, dead fish and turtles, less reeds and a disappearance of birdlife.

Last year, truckloads of water were pumped out of Lake Brearley, after residents complained of the stench caused by algae.

Newly elected Friends of Maylands Lakes chairman Geoff Trott said the health of the lakes had steadily declined in the last five years.

“There has been a big die-off of turtles and on Lake Brearley there was a massive die-off of fish last year, to the point where the pelicans just descended on there and getting all the fish that were floating up to the surface,” he said.

“You used to see bunches of swans, now you’re lucky to see two or three. It’s a great amenity and people really appreciate it but it’s in dire straits.”

Mr Trott said the group would lobby Bayswater Council for funding to help maintain the lakes, as well as apply for other funding sources.

“A 12-month study into the lakes finishes in June and then there is $50,000 allocated for the lakes next financial year, which is a drop in the ocean,” he said.

Mr Trott said a drain on Lake Bungana should have a sump and bio filters to stop the flow of rubbish from the streets coming into the lake.

He said they would look at planting more reeds, weeding and engaging a university to carry out studies at the site.

“These are things that could have been avoidable if they’d started a long time ago and maintained it,” he said

The group’s first meeting was set to be held this week.