Although perhaps overlooked by some, the Washpool, being the seasonal wetland south of the Aldinga Scrub, is indeed a precious asset. All over the world, coastal wetlands are disappearing under an ever-increasing wave of development pressure. As they are lost, so too are the places where migratory water birds can feed, breed and find a home when they need it.

The Aldinga Washpool is the last remnant of a string of coastal wetlands adjacent to the coastal suburbs of Adelaide which once teemed with birdlife. It may be shallow and seasonal, but that is of itself a great attribute. Shallow water is perfect for wading birds to feed and for the growth of the plants, insects and invertebrates that support their lifecycle. Deep water may look great, but it is nowhere as important for the birds that make the Washpool home for half the year. We know of the terrible decline in birdlife in the Coorong.

The wetlands that remain must be protected and cared for.

Friends of Willunga Basin, other community groups, members of the public and bird organisations are all very concerned that, after many years of lobbying and despite signs that progress is at last being made to consolidate the multiple government ownership structure under the Minister for the Environment, one of the current owners, SA Water, is considering selling off part of its land (at the corner of Justs Road and Button Road) for hobby farms.

Friends of Willunga Basin and many others have written to the responsible Minister, David Speirs, strongly requesting that such a loss of an important part of our natural world should not occur. David Speirs is both Water and Environment Minister. If you agree with us it is of great importance to add your voice to those who have contacted the Minister. A phone call to his office or, better still, a letter, will demonstrate that many are dismayed at the proposed sale.

More information can be gained from the Friends of Willunga Basin Facebook page.

David Gill

Secretary Friends of Willunga Basin.