Earthworks underway for the new Parkes Wetlands project

Published on 08 June 2023


The development of the new Parkes Wetlands is underway, with local contractor Steve Magill Earthmoving (SME) awarded the tender to carry out the earthworks.

This project will redevelop Parkes' former Sewage Treatment Plant maturation ponds into the Parkes Wetlands; a high-value, hydrologically complex wetland, capable of supporting a diverse range of native fauna and flora.

Parkes Shire Council's Biosecurity and Environmental Coordinator, Michael Chambers is keenly overseeing this project.

"Council is thrilled to see this project commence, as it will create a crucial habitat for a range of native animals, affording birds, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates an important refuge, particularly during dry periods and prolonged drought."

"In addition to supporting regional biodiversity, the wetland will benefit residents by providing a new site for recreational activities, environmental and cultural education, and an expansion and diversification of the Shire's tourism products," he added.

Councillor Bill Jayet said, "Transforming this unused location into a fully integrated cultural, educational, recreational and eco-tourism space will, over time, create a high-impact birdwatching experience for locals and visitors.”

"The Parkes Wetland will provide a unique opportunity for travellers seeking ecotourism experiences, particularly birdwatchers, who are part of a fast-growing, niche market," added Cr. Jayet.

"Not only is this an economic win for Parkes, but this project may facilitate regional collaboration and investment in nature-based tourism across the Central West, such as the potential to develop a birdwatching trail linking the Parkes Wetlands to Gum Swamp in Forbes, Lake Cowal, and Lake Cargelligo."

Councillor Marg Applebee remembers spending time bird watching at Akuna Road when she was growing up and is thrilled to see the area evolving into an accessible space where the wider community and visitors will be able to view local and migratory bird life.

"Central West Lachlan Landcare have worked with Parkes Shire Council in surrounding areas at Akuna Road over many years running community National Tree Day events. These green spaces which have been planted by community volunteers, will complement the work being undertaken at the Wetlands Project," said Cr Applebee.

This project has been supported by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust, whose Restoration and Rehabilitation program assists community and government organisations to contribute to the ongoing sustainable management and stewardship of significant environmental assets and services in NSW. Additional support has been received through the Central West Councils Environment and Waterways Alliance (CWCEWA), of which Parkes Shire Council is a member.

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