Putting the ‘beach’ back in Salt Creek
Long-awaited remediation of Salt Creek at Middle Beach has taken a big step forward, with the formation of a council-backed working party to push the project.
The District Council of Mallala voted at its May 27 meeting to commit two councillors and some staff resources to the working party, which will also comprise representatives from the Two Wells Regional Action Team and Mallala Foreshore Advisory Committee and potentially a university or industry representative.
Middle beach shack owner, TWRAT and MFAC member, John Drexel, believes the establishment of the working party is a win for the future use and health of the creek and for the people of the district.
“It’s an absolute relief,” Mr Drexel said.
“We’re all rapt that at last we might be able to move forward to try to put the beach back to the way it was for use by the whole of the northern Adelaide Plains area.”
Historically Salt Creek was used by the local community for recreational purposes but over time silting of the creek has reduced these activities including reducing the ability for boats to use it, particularly at low tide.
In 2010 DCM invested funds to upgrade the boat ramp facilities but has struggled to maintain the boat ramps due to continual silting.
Mr Drexel believes the work of the Salt Creek working party will benefit not only the immediate creek but also council and other industry groups.
“We’d like to, if it’s at all feasible, to involve university students in the project to see what the effects the remediation will have on the creek flow,” he said.
“We’ll need surveying, environmental management etcetera, so that’s a win-win.
“The students get a real life project to use in their studies and we get the results we need to carry out the remediation work.
“As a byproduct we can use the material coming out of the creek for levies and maybe even the construction of a second car park, which will save money because we’re using local products.”
Mr Drexel said the working party hoped to raise the profile of the area not only for its Middle Beach residents but also for the whole of the northern plains district.
“This is not just about Middle Beach,” he said.
“We’re trying to make this the local beach for the whole of the northern plains district, it’s to give the people the beach back that they can actually swim in.”
DCM chief executive officer, Charles Mansueto, said council had long been aware of the issues regarding Salt Creek and the boat ramp, and joining the working party was one way of being involved in the project.
“The desire of the community to enhance access to the creek for recreational activities is well known to council,” Mr Mansueto said.
“The working party will allow council to support investigation of further opportunities before council can consider any further commitment to upgrade the facilities.
“It also now gives council a direct link with those community groups involved (and) we look forward to working with the community groups in finding a sustainable solution.”