Article by Melbourne Water (also appeared in The Wyndham Leader, 26 August 2008)

At Cobbledicks Ford on the Werribee River a hardy band of volunteers, the Pinkerton Landcare and Environment Group, has committed themselves to restoring the health of this river crossing.

Daryl Akers is a member of the group and has played a key role in efforts to restore the site to good health. “We’ve had to approach rehabilitating this place from a number of angles,” he explains.

“The key here is that none of us have a ‘fly in fly out’ approach. We’re all working in a ‘patterned way’; everyone knows what everyone’s doing — we’ve got Melbourne Water as caretakers for rivers and creeks in the area and Wyndham City Council’s team are doing terrific work too. I can’t say enough good things about what we’re all achieving.”

Rehabilitation work at the site has been funded through Melbourne Water’s ‘Corridors of Green’ program. Weeds including willows, carpet weed, cactus and Chilean needle grass have been removed and the area replanted with Australian species native to the area.    

Working together to rehabilitate Cobbledicks Ford: (left to right) Wyndham City Council’s Peter Gibbs, volunteer Daryl Akers and Melbourne Water’s Darren Coughlan.

“When you remove those weeds it allows our native plants to re-establish themselves,” explains Daryl. “Willows do such damage to the natural flow of our creeks and to the life in them. If we all do our bit and give nature the chance to heal itself the plants, water bugs, birdlife and animals that are all connected can make a comeback. I saw a sea eagle moving over here not long ago, it’s a great sign.”

Work to rehabilitate the site is ongoing and the Werribee CFA team are contributing their time by removing two car bodies from the river bed.

“It’s that partnership approach that will get us there,” says Daryl. “And it’s wonderful to know that Melbourne Water will be involved all the way and for ever more.”