The Sapphire Gemfields Wetlands Reserve was officially opened this week by Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd. The ceremonial ribbon cutting was held in the heart of the reserve surrounded by majestic coolabah trees and watched closely by a mob of kangaroos.
After a welcome to country by Tracey Conlon representing the Western Kangolou people, Mr O’Dowd was joined by local residents and wetlands enthusiasts Evelyn Robinson and Pat Bock, CHRRUP representative Simone Parker, Tourism Development Officer Peter Grigg and council’s Parks and Gardens Supervisor Sonya Mitaros who all gave an account of how the project progressed, how important the wetlands are to the ecology of the area and how it is a boost for visitors.
The wetlands project was jointly funded by the Central Highlands Regional Council and the Australian Government’s National Stronger Region’s Fund, which contributed almost $110,000.
Visitors can wander the 3.6 km of gravel walking trails, with accompanying educational and directional signage, and observe the wetlands area from two viewing areas.