Feature

Small victories

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It’s true that from little things big things grow, but maybe it also needs to be said that with big things, little things often go under.

A walk up the Todd River with friends the other day yielded an unexpected encounter with the small and beautiful that might not have been there had things gone differently.

Friends and I wanted to look at how that section of the river was faring nearly 25 years after the bulldozers went in and almost changed it forever.

Junction Waterhole was of course the site of the old Country Liberal Party Government’s second attempt at building a dam on the Todd.

It ended dramatically with a last-minute intervention by the then Aboriginal Affairs Minister Robert Tickner, who used the Federal Government’s national heritage legislation to protect a sacred site.

History might have been very different, and indeed Tickner might not have intervened at all had it not been for the Territory Government’s determination to use the dam site for a recreation lake as well as flood mitigation.

Traditional owners of the site had agreed to a dam that would not hold water permanently but dug their heels in at the idea of having the site permanently flooded.

How “permanent” that flooding would actually have been was the subject of our speculation as we sat on the bed of the lake that never was. On either side of the river you could see where the bulldozers had made their last-ditch attempt to settle the issue by force, carving out a particularly pronounced rut on the northern bank of the river. The Government apparently did little to rehabilitate the damage, but the scars have long since been softened by a carpet of bufflel, which has thrived on the disturbance.

Well, even buffel has its benefits, I suppose, and the same could probably be said for recreation lakes. But for me, the greatest validation of the river’s survival as a wild and untrammelled entity was the activity of a group of striated pardalotes that had apparently adopted the mud nests of some swallows. (more…)

Jul 12, 2015 | Categories: Features, Nature | Leave A Comment »

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Small victories

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Jul 12, 2015 | Discuss

It’s true that from little things big things grow, but maybe it also needs to be said that with big things, little things often go under. A walk up the Todd River with friends the other day yielded an unexpected encounter with the small and beautiful that might not have been there had things gone ...

More in At the Centre

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