Maylands community group calls on government to ‘dig deep’ for Brearley and Bungana lakes

Friends of Maylands Lakes chairman Geoff Trott. Picture: Toyah Shakespeare
Friends of Maylands Lakes chairman Geoff Trott. Picture: Toyah Shakespeare

A MAYLANDS community group has urged all levels of government to “dig deep” to restore the health of Brearley and Bungana lakes.

Residents complained about the murky water and stench at the lakes, ongoing algal blooms and an increase in mosquitoes, dead fish and turtles, and the disappearance of birdlife.

A water quality study commissioned by the City of Bayswater showed high nitrogen levels and phosphorous spikes in winter and suggested $3 million of management options.

The City has allocated $50,000 to the lakes in its current budget but the Friends of Maylands Lakes are calling on $1.8 million to be set aside over three years to implement some options from the study.

Group chairman Geoff Trott said members chose the things that would have the most impact in the short term, including pollutant traps on drains, revegetation, dredging, installation of phosphorus locking technology, solar pumps and the trial of floating wetlands.

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He said a $1 million dredging project would have an immediate impact on the lakes’ health.

“In three years time, I would like to see them where they were when they were first established, with more sedge planting… that will help purify the water,” he said.

“I think that’s the vision of all the residents around here: get our lakes back to the pristine condition they were once in.”

Mr Trott said he was concerned the recent wet summer weather would put the lakes into a worse state. “The Brickworks lake at the moment… is a horrible, slimy grey colour flowing into Lake Bungana,” he said.

“I’m told by the City of Bayswater, which carried out tests, that the nutrient levels have spiked, because of the flow of water from the drains.

“It may be that by the end of this summer the lakes are in a far worse condition than they have been up until now.”

Mr Trott said he called on the City of Bayswater and State and Federal governments to “dig deep” to fix the lakes. “Had the lakes not been neglected so many years in the first instance, it wouldn’t cost this much to fix them now, such dramatic action to right them,” he said.

Bayswater Council is set to begin budget deliberations this month.

Maylands MLA Lisa Baker said she would be happy to support an application for restoration funding after the State Election.

Liberal candidate Amanda Madden said if elected she would seek a commitment from the Environment Minister to provide the resources for revegetation of the lakes and for the installation of pollutant traps on the drains.