Janelle Saffin with Anna Jackowiak-Hoare of Bonalbo, winner of the Open Art section of the WetlandCare Australia National Art and Photography Competition in Canberra.
Janelle Saffin with Anna Jackowiak-Hoare of Bonalbo, winner of the Open Art section of the WetlandCare Australia National Art and Photography Competition in Canberra.

Wetland winners in Canberra

Parliament is back and Page MP Janelle Saffin used the occasion of World Wetlands Day to introduce a private member’s motion recognising the important wetlands protection work of organisations in her electorate.

Ms Saffin said the theme of International Wetlands Day is ‘Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change’ with the focus on the impact of climate change on wetlands, and the role wetlands can play in helping us mitigate the effects of climate change.

“The national organisation WetlandCare Australia is based in Ballina and plays a vital role in supporting community action to repair and protect our wetlands.

“Last night (Monday) I attended WetlandCare Australia’s annual art competition award night in Canberra. The competition is a wonderful way of raising awareness about protecting our natural environment, and this year attracted more than 650 entries from around Australia... I was delighted to see so many talented artists from our local area among the major prize winners,” Ms Saffin said.

Anna Jackowiak-Hoare from Bonalbo won the Open Art Prize, Nicholas Duckworth of Grafton won the Open Photography prize, Oliver Lifford from Teven won the Children’s Art Senior prize (Isabella Laura Jones from Ballina won a merit award in that category) and Byron Bay’s Blair Trigger won a merit award in the Children’s Photography.

“Wetland eco-systems hold around 10% of the world’s carbon but are under threat of damage from human activity. We need to be looking at innovative ways to protect our water resources, as we prepare for a future in our driest of dry continents,” Ms Saffin said.

“In our area, some of that innovation is happening. The Water and Carbon Group with the support of Southern Cross University and local councils has developed natural wastewater treatment systems in South Lismore and Casino that create wetlands and produce safe water.

“With the pressure of increasing populations, all levels of government need to support solutions such as this; a process of turning sewerage and wastewater into healthy wetlands.”


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