Native birdlife and turtles will enjoy new, floating nesting grounds to keep them safe and help them thrive in Botany’s Sir Joseph Banks Park thanks to an NSW Ports 2022 Community Grant.
Volunteers from the Fix it Sisters Shed, in consultation with Bayside Council, WIRES and Western Sydney University, received a $20,000 NSW Ports grant to construct the predator-safe pontoons that were officially floated into the parkland’s ponds today.
The islands, anchored in the middle of the ponds, are vegetated floating structures made of plastic tubing with aquatic plants, hollow logs and branches that will increase the chances of survival for both species, while the plants will grow by absorbing nutrients in the water.
NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said the business was delighted to provide funding for the wildlife project, which was one of 17 grants awarded as part of the 2022 Community Grants Program.
“NSW Ports is an active member of the communities within which we operate, with Port Botany playing a vital role in delivering jobs and trade and supporting local neighbourhoods through grants and sponsorships,” she said.
“We’re passionate about protecting and enhancing our local environment. This innovative conservation initiative shows what can be achieved when we work together to build strong, sustainable neighbourhoods that deliver positive outcomes for the whole community.”
The Fix It Sisters Shed, based in Kyeemagh, is experienced in building homes for different wildlife and is especially known for creating burrows and nests for penguins and stormy petrels.
Linda Prince, Chief Sister from the Fix it Sisters Shed, said the group has learned many new skills while constructing the floating islands.
“I’m confident these new skills will benefit our next wildlife project,” she said. “Thank you to Bayside Council and to NSW Ports for making this project possible.”
Bayside Mayor Dr Christina Curry said it was exciting to see Council and NSW Ports partnering with community groups on this project to provide a safe nesting place for black swans.
“Students from Western Sydney University will also provide valuable research for this project that will help improve the biodiversity and natural habitat in Sir Joseph Banks Park,” Dr Curry said.
“There has been a lot of community interest in caring for the swans and I am pleased Council is doing all it can to improve the safety of nesting wildlife around the pond.”
Pink Cactus Props, Dragon Fly Environmental, St George Tyres and IAS Fine Art Logistics Sydney have all also supported the construction of the islands.
Applications are now open for the 2023 NSW Ports Community Grants program, to help local groups, not-for-profit organisations and schools build thriving communities around Port Botany, Port Kembla and the Enfield and Cooks River intermodal centres. For more information or to apply for a one-off grant worth up to $25,000, visit nswports.com.au/grants.
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Brooke.Eggleton@nswports.com.au | 0419 684 953