MAYLANDS residents have banded together to fight back against weeds choking the Bardon Park wetlands.
The Bardon Park Riverside Restoration Group became incorporated last month to help tackle the weeds that have invaded the wetlands, owned by the WA Planning Commission (WAPC), City of Bayswater and a private owner.
David Dyke, who helped form the group, said weeds included Japanese pepper tree, pampas grass, lantana bush and blackberry bush.
“I’ve seen it deteriorate for about six, seven years. Finally we’re at the point where we’re better off speaking up and saying something,” he said.
“The morning glory creeper is growing over the top of the natural shrubs, smothering them to death.”
Planning Minister Donna Faragher said the WAPC did not manage Bardon Park, which was under management of the City.
“Given that the land is not only very dense but also very wet, particularly in winter, weed eradication is problematic,” she said in a letter.
“Dealing with the weed infestation on the WAPC land, without a similar program on adjoining properties, is not an effective solution as the infestation quickly reappears. The WAPC has previously sought a joint approach with the City of Bayswater and adjoining landowner without success.
“The WAPC has reverted to a containment program on its land, with the aim of preventing further weed build-up form occurring.”
Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna said the majority of the land was owned by the WAPC.
He said that in 2006, the City agreed to accept the management and financial responsibility of the wetland.
Cr McKenna said the WAPC could not provide a fully costed management plan – only a “vague estimate” – so the agreement fell through.
“The City had real concerns its ratepayers would be left to foot the bill if it took ownership of the land without properly understanding the risks involved,” he said.
Cr McKenna said the city had assisted Mr Dyke and the group with walk-throughs and guidance on management at the site.
“The city is keen to continue working with Mr Dyke and sees the establishment of the Bardon Park Riverside Restoration Group is a positive step towards the rehabilitation of the wetland area,” he said.
Maylands MLA Lisa Baker said the mid to low classification of the Bardon Park wetlands also needed to be examined, as the site held cultural, historical and environmental significance.