From the editor, Anne Boyd
Development Victoria’s recent press release celebrates the sighting of two new Blue-billed Duck families at their Knoxfield site (known as Lake Knox) and reinforces the need to ‘replace the existing dam with a vibrant new wetlands system to ensure a safe breeding environment for these birds and other species.’
‘The ducklings’ presence was reported by the community last month and confirmed by ecologists working on behalf of Development Victoria, who continue to actively monitor their progress.’
Development Victoria’s Group Head of Property Development Penny Forrest, said the ecologists are actively monitoring the ducks and, as a result, no works are planned which could impact any potential breeding.
‘We plan to undertake a staged construction of the new wetlands to ensure these works don’t impact the ducks and other species – especially during their breeding season,’ Ms Forrest said.
‘We want to give the Blue-billed Duck and other species the best opportunity to thrive on site. The wetlands will replace the unsafe, man-made dam that is currently on site and result in a better overall environmental outcome and improve the health of local waterways, including Blind Creek’.
(Visit the Knoxfield project page on the Development Victoria website for more information about their project.)
Looked at another way
The new sighting of Blue-billed ducks has evoked a different reaction from local groups.
As Gully News goes to press, a posting on the Knox Environment Society Facebook site has a different story. They announce that, ‘The Knox Environment Society, acting as a collective of community groups, wish to join with the State Government in celebrating the arrival of the latest hatching of the threatened Blue-billed Duck at Lake Knox. Unfortunately, this is where our alignment with the government and Development Victoria ends.’
They cite ‘the addition of 450 new dwellings into the current vacant public land, and the destruction of this deep water asset, will seal the fate of Blue-billed Ducks in Knox’. Their critique of the State Government position follows and they conclude by pointing out that ‘22,000 voting voices have signed a petition to stop this habitat destruction’ with a listing of 10 local collaborating environment groups.
For more information visit www.savelakeknox.org or the iNaturalist citizen scientist project page.
Ducks are noted for their calm serenity above the waterline coupled with frantic paddling below, qualities that may be needed as this story continues.