A Horsham resident has renewed his calls for Horsham Rural City Council to maintain the garden wetlands that back onto his house and 20 others.
In April 2018, councillors met with Brian Hedt and other residents, following a petition calling for action in relation to the water level, weeds and odours in the wetlands between Market Lane, Madden Street and Rushbrook Close.
Mr Hedt said when he moved to the area from Dimboola in 2016, the water was 30 per cent covered by dead plant matter. Today, he said it was closer to 90 per cent.
"It stinks, and pretty much all the bird life is gone," he said. "Normally we would get pelicans, waterbirds and two pairs of wood ducks and black ducks that would have ducklings here. It hasn't happened this year.
"It is supposed to be a public amenity. Kids from the nearby kinder and picnicers come here. It is part of the botanic gardens area but the council isn't maintaining it the way they are the gardens: "
Mr Hedt said the wetlands, and the adjacent channel leading to Wotonga Basin, received runoff and sediment from Wilson and Darlot streets, as well as from the nearby concrete plant, ALDI and Woolworths' carparks and the council's operations depot.
He said he received a commitment from Horsham council's Infrastructure Director John Martin in 2018 that money to maintain the wetlands would appear in a subsequent council budget, but had not seen any money allocated since this time.
"The lawns here are also covered in weeds and plants around the edge of the wetlands need to be renewed," he said.
The wetlands opened in 2003, on an area that used to be part of the Horsham Saleyards.
The Mail-Times has contacted Mr Martin for comment.
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