The Border Watch : March 21st 2014
5 NEWS VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au Rising water level worry DRAINAGE WORRY: John Clever, Byron Gilmore, Tom Paltridge, Norman Gilmore, Mostyn Telford and Ian Black want action taken to improve the quality of their farmland. Farmers feel effect of drain management change M AL e McGREGOR ALEX firstname.lastname@example.org AFFECTIONATELY known by residents as the “eighth wonder of the world”, Eight Mile Creek is gaining a reputation as a stinking bog since dredging ended. Landholders have spoken out, claiming neighbouring farmland is becoming waterlogged, restricting harvesting and other agricultural work. They claim only two thirds of the water in the creek is fl owing into the Southern Ocean. Farmer Tom Paltridge said dredging had a low impact on the creek and previously kept the water in pristine condition. “There was always some sort of current allowing the water to fl ow throughout the length of the creek, keeping the waterway healthy,” Mr Paltridge said. “The creek has become stagnant since the dredging stopped, allowing algae to grow on the surface and choke segments of the watercourse.” He said endangered fish species in the creek were also being put at risk by the deteriorating conditions. Marine Life Society of South Australia secretary Neville and we desperately need to top our crops, but it is too boggy to access our paddocks in some areas.” DISAPPOINTED: Byron Gilmore is disgusted at the state of Eight Mile Creek and would like to see a different approach taken to clean the watercourse in the future to better suit the farmers who own land near the creek. Skinner highlighted in a report in 2004 that the dredging of the creek allowed for better water fl ow, lower water levels and easier drainage from the pastures of neighbouring dairy farms. But he highlighted the danger of agricultural substances, including fertilisers and herbicides, entering the creek from drains, claiming nutrients from cattle deposits and salt left from evaporation of irrigation during summer had led to the drainage system killing the wetlands. Mr Skinner called for construction of new drains to the ocean and dredging to be stopped. But other farmers have now joined Mr Paltridge in voicing fury at the changed management of the watercourse. “A road was built between our farmland and the creek for an excavator to be delivered to clean the creek,” Mr Paltridge said. “This has stopped all drainage from our farms into the creek, our pastures are very wet and almost 300 acres of land is now redundant due to the rising water levels since dredging was stopped. “No hay was cut this season Mr Paltridge said the excavator was a poor alternative to dredging, scraping sediments onto the banks where habitat for marine life was located. “The dredge used to clean the creek and deposit all of the sediment into the ocean, but now it is being sloshed sideto-side, creating problems for the native wildlife living in the mud on the banks of the creek,” Mr Paltridge said. “When the road was built it was like a dam had been installed and our farmland became increasingly wetter in the following years, causing us to lose productivity.” Mr Paltridge said farmers were not permitted to install drains or culverts under the road, creating further issues. He said he would like to see dredging brought back so the water levels would decrease and the productivity of farmland would return. “It allowed for better water fl ow and the native wildlife were not harmed with this method and we could still drain our agricultural land into the creek,” Mr Paltridge said. Comment from Natural Resources South East was not available at press time. Not just a safety shop! 118 PENOLA ROAD • PH 8724 8011 16 Commercial St West Ph 8725 7582 Fax 8724 9977 Mt Gambier Safety Supplies YOU ASKED, WE GOT THEM! MONGREL elastic sided boots Rebates available - conditions apply They really work! CONCERNED: Farmers Norman Gilmore, Ian Black and John Clever are shocked at the deteriorating state of the Eight Mile Creek and would like to see a new method instated to clean the watercourse. Pictures: ALEX McGREGOR Despite our cooler climate a solar hot water system can give you up to 90% of your hot water FREE from the sun! And while you’re reducing your power bill, you’re helping the environment. S.E. BATTERY SERVICE 120 PENOLA RD, MT GAMBIER. PHONE 8725 9911HONE 8 STOCKISTS FOR ALL YOUR BATTERY NEEDS! 643077 The Border Watch, Friday, March 21, 2014 - 5 636086 643724 FOOTBA CATALOGUE OUT NOW! ALL YOUR TOP BRANDS! S!
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