|West Coolum Wetland|
The West Coolum Wetland is on land formerly used for sugar cane production. The area was inundated by tidal flows from Coolum Creek following the collapse of canal floodgates after the council acquired the site in 2011, allowing a thriving wetland to be created in the same way that the nearby Yandina Creek Wetland came to be.
|Broken floodgates at West Coolum Wetland|
The council has since demonstrated an encouraging change of heart. Last year it launched its Blue Heart Sunshine Coast Project, aiming to sustainably manage 5,000 hectares of the Maroochy River floodplain in partnership with Unitywater and the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. The project's objectives include the securing and protection and management of the floodplain's most environmentally critical areas.
The council will play a role in the future management of the Yandina Creek Wetland as part of its Blue Heart commitment. The move to protect the West Coolum Wetland, which had partly been designated for “open space sport development”, is another important step. Yandina Creek Wetland, the Coolum Creek Reserve and West Coolum Wetland are now joined in a large protected area.
|West Coolum Wetland - looking towards Mt Coolum|
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the wetland would be managed for conservation and added to council’s environment reserve network. “The lands, located west of the Sunshine Motorway at Coolum Beach, offer an exciting opportunity to establish an estuarine wetland due to the frequent tidal inundation of the site,” the mayor said.
|Google Earth image of West Coolum Wetland|
As with Yandina Creek Wetland, there is no public access to West Coolum Wetland. Unitywater has given repeated undertakings to eventually allow pubic access to Yandina Creek. The council is expected to take the same approach with West Coolum.
|West Coolum Wetland site map|
|One of the newly approved residential developments on Maroochy River floodplain|