Members of the Sportsman’s Creek Drainage Union (SCDU) are in the process of electing a new Board of Directors. In doing so they continue a history of more than 94 years.
The earliest minutes for which the Drainage Union has a record are dated 17th October 1928, but the organisation must have been in place well before that date. Early Parish maps for Southgate and Lawrence show that the Sportsman’s Creek Drainage Union was proclaimed on 24th July 1925. The same maps show there had previously been a Drainage Trust District and in 1910 an area between Woody Creek and Sportsman’s Creek was identified “For Preservation of Game”.
The Sydney Morning Herald, dated Thursday 24th August 1927, records the opening of the Sportsman’s Creek Weir and states “The weir comprises 40 concrete piers, with floodgates and cost almost 4000 pounds. The work was undertaken by the Drainage Union formed for the purpose.” It is interesting to consider that 4000 pounds would be around $340,000 today. It is not clear from the minutes how all the funds were raised but there was a bank debt which was paid off by annual levies on members.
Minutes dated 23rd October 1929 record that the debt was reduced to 621:0:9d. In 2021 currency, depending on the relative value indicator we use, that would be approximately $52,000. On 10th October 1932 the Secretary reported total rates assessed at 676:17:6d and that full payment would clear the debt and leave a credit balance. Action was to be taken to recover outstanding rates and interest would be charged.
It appears from the minutes that attendance at meetings was usually small and that there were always some landholders who were reluctant to pay their levies, as is currently the case. Without a dedicated group of landholders, and a committed Board, the weir would not still be in place.
Members of the new Board will continue that work into the future with ongoing maintenance of the weir and administration of the organisation. Hopefully, they will also be engaged with the National Parks and Wildlife Service in their preparation of a Management Plan for the Everlasting Swamp National Park.