The frog that almost stopped the Sydney Olympics
WAY back in 1993, as the first steps towards the construction of the Sydney Olympic site were being carefully treaded, conservationists, amateur conservations, professional personal agenda drivers, local residents and powerful Aboriginal conservationists almost brought to complete halt the construction. Why? Because the huge pond created by the Homebush Brickworks’ quarry and its surrounding vegetation was the home of the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog. In the corridors of NSW power, in little and large meeting rooms, wannabe do-gooders joined the faithful and others in the war against engineers, builders, architects, the money counters, the NSW government, the Sydney Olympics Committee and the Minister for the Olympics, Bruce Baird. In the end, Baird, who is a pretty sensible and easy-going bloke with tons of experience, won the day and the frog’s habitat was saved.
So, to date, the frog has enjoyed the protection and conservation overseen by the Sydney Olympic Park Authority. During the “war” I visited the brickworks site many times until everyone packed their ammunition and went home quite happy that they had achieved something special. Over the past 21 years I had driven passed the Olympic site, often visited one of the many sports arenas and always promised myself that I need to see what the final outcome of the frog war was. I did it recently, June 15. Spent an hour walking around the circular walk high in the sky. Looking down below, I could not see any frogs from that height but I did see a lot of birds, ducks and other waders. More importantly, I was shot back on my heels … there was a family (?) of large black swans frolicking in the huge pond and appeared to be feeding on the green algae. I loved every moment. Must get a better longer lens camera.