Residents living in fear of snakes

People at Marengo, near Apollo Bay are concerned a wetland close to the foreshore is attracting snakes.

APOLLO BAY district residents fear an overgrown wetland is becoming a haven for snakes and pests.

Property owners Peter Goboly and Alan Craddock at Marengo, near Apollo Bay, say a wetland close to their houses is “an eyesore”.

“All it is doing is breeding mosquitoes, rats and snakes,” Mr Goboly said.

He said the Otway Coast Committee that established the wetland should maintain it.

“To my knowledge they’ve re-vamped it twice to the tune of $30,000,” he said.

“It would be nice to have a nice mowed area with a picnic table, it would be better than that.”

Mr Craddock said he wasn’t criticising the volunteers who put the wetland in.

“You couldn’t complain about what they’ve done, it needed to be followed up I suppose,” he said.

“If it’s going to be a swamp it’s going to have to better maintained than it is.”

“They put all native plants in there but the natural grasses that were in there have taken over.”

Mr Craddock said a settling pond in the wetland was partly to blame for the snake issue.

“Maybe they shouldn’t have put a settling pond there and directed the water into the sewerage,” he said.

“Maybe they should turn it into grassland.”

Otway Coast Committee executive officer Gary McPike said the wetland “is functioning as required”.

“It requires some work on it, it will essentially stay in the same way it is at the moment,” he said.

“There’s some weed removal planned.”

Mr McPike said “snakes have always been resident in that patch of land”.

He said the wetland needed a settling pond.

“A wetland does form an important function to improve water quality,” he said.

“It’s not that different than everywhere along the foreshore, and it will be maintained.”

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