Work is getting under way on Orange’s newest constructed wetland, the Waratah Wetland project.
 
The new wetland is being built by Orange City Council in conjunction with the Waratah Sports Club and is supported by Central Tablelands Local Land Services (LLS) through funding from Catchment Action NSW.
 
A grant of $42,000 from LLS will contribute to the project. Work is set to start soon on plantings at the site.
 
The area south of the Platinum Parade, which is a former swamp, will be replenished with native plant species and furnished with recreational facilities and paved walkways to create the Waratah wetland.
 
Orange City Council’s Environmental Sustainability Committee Chair Neil Jones said while the new wetland would not be part of Orange’s stormwater harvesting scheme, like the other constructed wetlands across the city, the new project would enhance and beautify the area.
 
“It won’t be used as part of the storm water harvesting scheme in the way the Ploughmans, Brooklands and the Somerset Wetlands are used,” Cr Jones said.
 
“The slow movement of water through the wetland will cleanse storm water from the bypass and North Orange housing estates,” he said.
 
“As well as improving water quality, the main purpose of the new wetlands is to enhance the area for residents as well as provide a habitat for native wildlife.”
 
Funds from developer contributions are also adding to the project.
 
The project is expected to take two years to complete.   “It will be just as beautiful as Orange’s other wetlands and I’m sure it will be enjoyed by residents,” Cr Jones said.

“We saw many residents, whose properties backed on to the original wetlands, gradually remove their colourbond fences and replace them with see-through barriers that allowed them to take in the water views and I expect this will happen again around the Waratah wetland.”

 
“Community participation has been a key feature in the planning and development of this project, “ Cr Jones said.
 
“Council staff have met with local residents and representatives of the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) to discuss community involvement.
 
"This has included on-site inspections and discussions on future walking paths and how they might be linked to the Orange Botanic gardens and Adventure Playground.”