EXCLUSIVE

Environmental levy funds help bird life flourish at Macksville's Dawkins Park

The once smelly pond and island at Dawkins Park, which was home to a noisy colony of white ibis has been completely transformed thanks to the efforts of Nambucca Shire Council staff and $100,000 (including this financial year) from the environmental levy.

Having been de-sludged, reshaped and revegetated with a bio-filtration system installed, the improvement of the aquatic environment is astounding - now the water sparkles and ear and eye are met with the happy chittering of water hens, the honking of ducks and the cries of cormorants as they arrive at their drying perches.

Ibis numbers are greatly reduced thanks to the nest and egg removal program that ran between June 2017 and January 2018. This saw 1241 eggs removed initially and a further 349 six months later. Another round of removals is due this week.

Efforts now turn to supporting these improvements with the powering of the bio-filtration system the top priority.

At their July 25 meeting councillors voted to lodge a development application for a windmill to be installed to power the re-circulation of pond water.

Reticulated electricity and solar power were also considered however the windmill idea took off, given there is a local manufacturer and Macksville is home to good sea breezes.

Cr Janine Reed said the windmill offered a long established alternative power source, as well as an opportunity to showcase a local business.

"We don't do this type of thing often enough - the firm has made a generous offer (equipment plus set up for $38,000) and the chamber is fully supportive," Cr Reed said.

Cr Ainsworth noted that 10 years of service was included but asked if that covered being there whenever the pump got blocked.

Cr Hoban said the application was only the first step in a long process that, if accepted, would see all details, including maintenance, properly discussed.

"This is not definitive ... windmills can be quite noisy," Cr Hoban said.

Also making the news: