Manly Warringah War Memorial Park Is an area of 375 ha that covers the Manly Dam, its catchment area and the immediate bushland area below the dam. The Save Manly Dam Catchment Committee has worked for many years on looking after the bush in the catchment and restoring the Mermaid Pool below the dam that was a rubbish dump site.
Manly Dam was given heritage status because of the area's long history going back to the 1890s when the dam was built to be the major water source for Manly. The preservation of the dam's catchment is one of the reasons that we are so lucky to still have this amazing area of quality bushland that supports high biodiversity including many threatened species so close to the centre of Sydney. Areas like this are rare so that the highest possible level of protection should be applied.
The local community through the Save Manly Dam Catchment Committee has demonstrated their strong support for the area with many hours put into removing rubbish at the Mermaid Pool and volunteer bushcare works. It is an excellent site for citizen science projects.
The park has a long history of use by the Gayamaygal people, with evidence of engraving sites, and the bushland vegetation provided bush tucker and material for a huge range of tools like rope, fishing nets, medicine, shields and canoes.
Manly Dam is an example of rare concrete-walled gravity dam that pioneered wall strengthening methods and technology and was a world first for its time. It no longer provides its original use as a water supply and now is a valuable recreation area.
At the declaration ceremony the Environment Minister and local member, James Griffin, claimed that heritage listing will help protect this treasured area and its stories for generations of Sydneysiders to continue enjoying into the future. But will it?
Beaches link tunnel proposal
The Beaches Link tunnels proposal is a massively expensive road project that is yet to receive funding commitments. It will greatly encourage the use of private cars and goes against the NSW Government’s commitments to reduce carbon emissions.
This video demonstrates the damage that the project will do to the catchment of the Manly Dam caused by the widening of Wakehurst Parkway. Bushland and flying fox habitat along Burnt Creek will be destroyed.
This article in STEP Matters Issue 209 provides more information on the environmental damage the project will cause.
There has not been any serious consideration of alternatives such as improved bus lanes or a metro to Chatswood from the Northern Beaches Hospital.