Batemans Bay resident: Water Garden a 'sewer'

NOT CONTRARY: The Batemans Bay Water Garden bat population is making life hard for nearby resident Mary Brierley.
NOT CONTRARY: The Batemans Bay Water Garden bat population is making life hard for nearby resident Mary Brierley.

There are no grey areas about how Batemans Bay resident Mary Brierley feels about the town's water garden, which backs onto her home, and its bat population.  

“This is not nature, it’s a man-created open sewer with bats pooping in it all the time,” she said.

She questions the logic of creating the garden in the first place.

“Did they do an environmental assessment when they created it?” she asked.

She has clear ideas at what should be done to solve the problem.

“They should pump the water out,” she said. 

“If they open it to the river it could kill off the oyster leases, so they need to find a designated place to pump it to.

“They should use landfill, cut back a lot of the trees and turn it into a flower garden.

“There is a lot of work to be done but it has to be done, and I believe the whole community would pitch in and help.

“They can’t expect people to live like this.”

Ms Brierley, 56, was born and bred in Moruya and has lived at High Street, backing right onto the Water Garden, for the past year, having been unaware of the problem when she moved there from Hanging Rock.

“The first night I had to use a breathing mask and wondered what I had got myself into,” she said.

She worked as a nurse in various parts of NSW for 33 years and it well aware of health issues.

“I had to buy a humidifier for the smell and ear plugs for the noise so I can sleep at night,” she said.

The driveway and back verandah of her unit, plus the building itself, are covered with bat droppings.

Ms Brierley is Aboriginal and believes that her ancestors would have found a way to manage the bat colony, and would not have created a feature like the Water Garden in the first place.