In June, the Victorian Government released its final North Growth Corridor Plan, dedicating even more land in the Merri catchment to urban uses. This growth ‘planning’ leaves an indecently narrow corridor along much of Merri Creek, locates a major town centre (Lockerbie) straddling the creek, proposes a non-existent habitat link from Merri Creek to a yet to be defined Red Gum Woodland reserve in Wollert, and whittles away other proposed conservation areas.
Merri Creek Management Committee congratulates the Friends of Merri Creek President, David Redfearn, on being awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the General Division, in the 2012 Australia Day Awards.
David was honoured for his service to conservation and the environment, to local government, and to the community. Besides being President of Friends of Merri Creek since 2004, he was also President of Merri Creek Management Committee from 1990-99. Other organisations to which he has made a substantial contribution include: inaugural President of Yarra Riverkeeper Association from 2004-09; Mayor, City of Northcote from 1984-85 and 1986-87, and a Councillor from 1982-93. In 2000, David was also was awarded the City of Darebin Citizen of the Year.
On Wednesday 25 January 2012, Lauren Keim, an East Brunswick resident and teacher at a local primary school rescued a large male platypus from the Merri Creek 200 metres north of Moreland Rd bridge.
The platypus was tangled in rubbish and debris and had a wound in his side. Lauren took the platypus to Essendon Emergency Vet who treated the platypus’ wound. The vet called a Wildlife Carer who took him to Healesville Sanctuary. After determining the platypus was healthy, Jessica Thomas, a Platypus Keeper at Healesville Sanctuary, decided that he should be released back where he had come from. So he was put back into Merri Creek.
Lauren has kept the tangled mess of rubbish to show her class and to educate them about rubbish in the creek.
Melbourne Water has advised that members of the public should not attempt to rescue platypus in trouble. Male platypus have a poisonous spur on their back legs that can cause serious injury to people. Platypus are also easily stressed through handling and can even die. If you see a platypus in trouble please contact wildlife specialist Josh Griffith – 0422-783-994.
We’d love to know if you’ve seen the Merri Creek platypus. Please contact us or make a report through our website animal sightings form.
Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) has won grants totalling almost $40,000 from Melbourne Water’s Corridors of Green program for weed control in Craigieburn.
A $19,993 grant will restore weedy patches in the parklands around Aitken Creek, a tributary of Merri Creek. The project is a partnership between MCMC and Hume City Council that aims to enhance the magnificent redgums and endangered vegetation in the Aitken Creek parklands. During 2012 and 2013 the project will fund weed control and planting works amongst a stretch of quality indigenous vegetation. This will further encourage Natural regeneration of native plants adjoining Aitken Creek.
A $19,909 grant will consolidate and enhance large scale woody weed control on the Merri Creek across the Merri creek from Rushwood Drive, Craigieburn. The project aims to create a flora and fauna habitat node to link Rushwood Drive Reserve with Galgi Ngarrk (Craigieburn Grasslands), directly opposite.
On 20 January 2012, hundreds of dead carp were found in the wetlands upstream of Edwardes Lake in Reservoir (Edwardes Lake is on Edgars Creek, a major tributary of the Merri.) A large influx of organic matter used up oxygen in the water, causing it to turn black and smelly, leading to the death of aquatic life. Darebin City Council liased with Yarra Valley Water to pump some of the black water to sewage.
Blue Green algae bloom
Some weeks later a Blue Green algae bloom arose in Edwards Lake and this has been managed by council with advice from Melbourne Water. However, Melbourne Water tested the water quality downstream of the Lake found on Friday 24 February that the bloom has progressed downstream at least as far as Henty St. Reservoir (Melway 18 C6). Signage will be erected along the waterway at major public access points through to the confluence with Merri Creek.