Chullora Freshwater Wetlands are located off the Hume Highway, at Muir Road, Chullora, approximately 14 Km west of the Sydney CBD. The Wetlands were constructed during the upgrading of the stormwater drainage system, in late 1990s by the Business Land Group (Landcom). During this process, the upper reaches of the Cooks River were replaced with concrete pipes, culverts and a concreted channel.

The South-West Enviro Centre (an active local community group) campaigned for an opportunity to improve the quality of stormwater runoff reaching Cooks River by creating a treatment wetland. The wetland and flood detention basin are constructed on land previously owned by the NSW State Rail Authority. Sydney Water became custodian and manager of the Wetlands in January 2004.

Chullora wetlands
Chullora wetlands Image: Kate Brandis
© Australian Museum

The Wetlands are important for three key reasons:

  • They treat stormwater runoff, to improve water quality in the upper reaches of Cooks River
  • The basin and Wetlands provide detention storage to mitigate 1:100 year flooding events, and
  • The Wetlands are a significant biodiversity resource in a highly disturbed urban landscape.

Sydney Water manages the wetlands and often uses it for tours to demonstrate to students and professionals how this type of asset can be incorporated into an urban waterway and the significant benefits it generates.

The tour by Sydney Water’s Daniel Cunningham, Natural Asset Manager was an important aspect to the day. He provided a great background on the site and on the significance of urban wetland projects. It was a great morning out and another way we are successfully engaging with our Streamwatch volunteers.

We have also been out at RiverFest and Threatened Species Wetland day at the Australiana Pioneer Village.

RiverFest has an unique focus on environmental sustainability and the celebration of cultural differences.  RiverFest raises awareness of the local environment around Campbelltown.  It was a great event to be part of and enabled us to promote the importance of our local waterways and the health of the catchment.

Threatened Species Wetland day was another great community event in Wilberforce at the Australiana Pioneer Village. The local community is working hard to restore their local wetlands and these events are a positive tool to engage the wider community in this process.