Environment SA News

Aldinga Washpool to become a protected area

One of Adelaide’s last remaining coastal freshwater and estuarine lagoon systems is one step closer to becoming a protected area, following a transfer of land from SA Water to the Minister for Environment and Water.

Aldinga Washpool is a well-known habitat for a wide range of native species.
Aldinga Washpool is a well-known habitat for a wide range of native species.

Aldinga Washpool, in Adelaide’s south is a well-known habitat for a wide range of native species, particularly birds and swamp plants of conservation significance, including a threatened coastal saltmarsh that’s nationally listed as a vulnerable threatened ecological community.

The Washpool is also of considerable spiritual and cultural significance to the Kaurna people and contains numerous archaeological sites and artefacts.

The Washpool land will be combined with the adjacent Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park to create one new conservation park.

Manager National Parks and Protected Areas Jason Irving said the name of park will be determined through consultation with the Kaurna people.

“We are also keen to work with local communities about the future management, and a planning process will commence next year to consolidate hydrological, ecological, and cultural work done so far,” Jason said.

“In 2018, a Washpool Working Group was established and since then has expressed a strong desire for the land to be protected from development.

“The group is also keen to ensure the land’s cultural and environmental values be protected and restored.

“The Department for Environment and Water, SA Water, Green Adelaide, City of Onkaparinga and other members of the working group have been working on flood mitigation, stormwater management, weed control, revegetation plans, water quality and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.”

Recognising its cultural and environmental significance, and that it’s now surplus to SA Water operational requirements, the entirety of the Aldinga Washpool land has been transferred, encompassing five allotments totalling 31.64 hectares. There is also a mix of State Government tenures in the process of being transferred.

When complete, the total area of land added to park will be about 74 hectares.