The Kulaluk wetlands in Darwin – PART SIX

Jabiru, brolga, egrets and other large wading birds feed amongst the reeds on the Kulaluk “old rice fields ” wetlands hidden from view from the early morning commuter traffic rushing into the City of Darwin along the suburban highway of Dick Ward Drive that cuts through the 301hectare Kulaluk lease, won by Larrakia people and their supporters in the land rights struggle of the 1970s. This video, filmed on April 2, 2015, is the sixth of a series of short documentaries showing the hidden wonders of the Kulaluk lease now threatened by rezoning, subdivisions, land fill and plans for a marina for millionaires’ yachts. The Kulaluk wetlands are a mini flood-plain that could be accessible to tourists and birdwatchers by broadwalks and observation points supervised by Indigenous rangers working from an interpretative centre for the varied environment of the lease area within easy access from the city centre. Instead this priceless area is being drained and used as a convenient dumping ground for polluted storm water from spreading Light Industry subdivisions approved by a small group of leaseholders who have restricted membership to the association that holds the lease. The filmmaker, Darwin anthropologisit Dr Bill Day, has been threatened with trespassing charges under the NT Trespass Act, commonly used to inhibit dissent. PART SEVEN will illustrate the threat to the wetlands caused by the thoughless digging of drains that have allowed salt water tidal intrusion.

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