Tucked away in a valley that seems a world away from the concrete and asphalt of Waterview Straight is a spectacular local attraction. Oakley Creek Waterfall cascades into Oakley Creek, its distinctive roar creating a dramatic ambience.
Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman’s guided tour along the Creek opened his eyes to its fragile ecosystem. Wendy John of Friends of Oakley pointed out the attractions, and the challenges inherent in protecting the creek environment. It’s a subject Wendy has much expertise in. She’s been organising planting days, and clean ups around the creek for many years. Wendy works with Gladstone School pupils, volunteers from the community, various clubs and organisations – and even mental health patients – on creek restoration projects.
Wendy helps organise volunteers to monitor baseline populations of rodents, hedgehogs, lizards, birds and weta. She says little weta ‘motels’ have been installed to give them a habitat to live in.
This whole issue is very dear to my heart too. For me, the entire Creek ecosystem is a haven for my amphibious sistren and brethren and our friends, the native eels. So I feel grateful for the caring mammals who are trying to breathe new life into the area. But, the controversial Waterview Connection SH20 project would inevitably impact on the precious treasure of the waterfall and the creek in general. Increased fumes and road run off can only be bad for the sensitive ecosystem of Oakley Creek and its surrounding wetlands.