Duck Ponds under attack

CAPRICORN Conservation Council is fed up with vandalism and other illegal activity at the Duck Ponds Environmental Reserve.

CCC vice-president Ian Herbert said there had been continual problems since the reserve was established, including damage to fences and gates, trees destroyed and dumped rubbish.

He said a small band of volunteers from Capricorn Conservation Council and the Wildlife Preservation Society had put in thousands of hours building fences, cleaning up rubbish, planting trees and controlling weeds over the past 10 years.

These volunteers were getting tired of the destruction which was undoing their hard work and threatening the environmental value of the reserve.

“There have been continual problems ever since the reserve was established. However, it has got even worse in the last few months,” Mr Herbert said.

“Vehicles have damaged fences and gates. Fences have been cut to let livestock in. Stock has destroyed trees that were planted by volunteers last year. Water has been pumped from the lagoon illegally and rubbish, including dead animals, has been dumped.”

He said someone had also lit a fire during the total-fire-ban period two weeks ago, but the Rural Fire Brigade largely saved the area after only a few hectares had been burned out.

“Duck Ponds is the only remaining water body in the area that is set aside as a sanctuary for native plants and wildlife, free from the pressure of grazing stock and water extraction,” he said.

He said they were at their wits’ end concerning how to stop the continuous vandalism.

“It is time those indulging in this activity had a good look at themselves and started to take some pride in the area.”

The 21 hectare reserve is on the southern outskirts of Rockhampton beside the Bruce Highway where it crosses Scrubby Creek, near the Burnett Highway turnoff.

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