Campbelltown Council does not have money to tackle bushfire risks in Athelstone’s Wadmore Park


Campbelltown Council does not have money to tackle bushfire risks in Athelstone’s Wadmore Park

22 July 2013

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Australia — The Wadmore Park Management Plan 2013-18 was endorsed by Campbelltown Council last week but there was no commitment to pay for fire safety measures, such as widening the fire track to 4m to allow better access for emergency vehicles and reducing levels of the “highly flammable” plant acacia paradoxa.

Concerns about fire risks in the park, which backs on to Black Hill Conservation Park, were raised by residents at least four years ago.

Since then the council has spent $45,000 on developing a fire management plan for the park. According to the latest park management plan, there is no timeframe for works to address fire risks and the work would only be done “when funds become available”.

Campbelltown Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association member Peter Stainer said a fire management plan should be a priority for the council.

Athelstone Ward councillor Max Amber said some preventive works had been done by the council “in the last few years”.

“We started some work a few years ago and cleared some undergrowth and we did widen the fire track but we haven’t done the 4m widening,” Cr Amber said.

“We haven’t done what was in the plan but we’ve made it accessible for fire trucks to get in.

“A lot of people don’t want the track made that wide because we would have to knock down a lot more trees – residents don’t want Wadmore tampered with because it’s original bush and it’s never been cleared.”

He said the existing track acted as a fire break and “the real fire risk is from the hills not Wadmore Park”.

Deputy Mayor Jill Whittaker said the fire plan needed “careful consideration to balance environmental needs against the safety concerns for residents”.

“As part of Adelaide’s last remaining indigenous vegetation it is important to everyone and being in the suburbs it requires everyone’s help in the retention and that’s what the … plan aims to do.”

As part of the five-year plan, endorsed by Campbelltown councillors last week, the area will be rezoned from residential to open space to ensure the park’s longevity.

Other plans include reintroducing orienteering, new interpretive signage and native vegetation plantings.

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