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Reduced to pipes and undefined

Turning ecological creeks into engineered streets

IT’S BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS. When developers see land that could potentially be sites for residential building they waste no time in reshaping the landscape to their preconceived notion of maximising the number of housing lots and minimising anything that might get in the way of this ‘worldview’.

This includes turning creeks into streets. Redifining creeks as drains is the way to justify locking them up into pipes and concrete walled beds and banks. There are many instances of this all over the country. It applies to the creeks on the eastern side of Munibung Hill that flow into Biddabah Creek. In a similar manner, the creeks on the western side of Munibung Hill are for the most part in pipes.

There are two classic cases on the north. In Macquarie Hills, Munibung Creek runs under Monterey Ave between Lawson Road and Grenada Ave and an unnamed creek runs under Lawson Road between Newbold Road and the end of Lawson Road. The bitumen roads run in the valleys where the creeks used to flow.

When we hide them from view and treat them as obstacles to our domination and domestication of the land, is it any wonder we overlook – ignore – creeks and waterways? Dismissing them as being of little or no importance.

Indigenous cultures valued creeks and waterways as integral to their care for country ethic. The life blood of the land, sources of food and places of habitat for the non-human species with which they were kin. Little wonder that they would say: I am the creek and the creek is me – we are of the same mother earth.

MMM … Issue 37, April – May 2023