Swans win 8-7 in council lake vote

Gold Coast environmentalists are celebrating because the City Council has voted 8-7 to save Swan Lake in Bundall Equestrian Area.

“We needed to celebrate, it’s been a very long hard 11 months,” Lynn Ogden, the State Councillor for Wildlife Preservation of Queensland says.

Eight Gold Coast City Councillors – Robbins, Bell, Gilmore, La Castra, Betts, Grummitt, MacDonald and Grew – voted to protect the lake. Six Councillors and the Mayor voted to turn it into a carpark.

Ms Ogden says when she saw the show of hands for the lake she felt disbelief and then euphoria.

“We’ve watched those birds on the lake and at the end of the day you can’t help but connect.”

The fate of the lake has been uncertain since trucks arrived at the lake on June 6 last year (World Environment Day) to fill it with soil for a carpark for the Gold Coast Show.

Councillor Chris Robbins says it was not an easy council decision, because the Show Society needs parking spaces for both show goers cars and as a revenue earner, but the lake was not an appropriate site for a car park.

“It was a difficult issue because it involves substantial issues for the Show Society and substantial environmental issues,” she says.

President of the Gold Coast and Hinterland Branch of Wildlife Queensland Sally Spain says, “It was a win for the community. People power.”

“The council was blitzed from one end of the city to the other with emails and phone calls from people who wanted to protect the lake.”

“It was a deluge.”

“We were very pleased that some of the Councillors took the environment and public opinion into account.”

The lake has 40 species of bird, 29 species that have been identified by Birdlife Queensland.

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