Cooks River Remediation? Or Renovation?
The renovation of the Cooks River in the vicinity of Ewen Park, between the suburbs of Earlwood and Hurlstone Park is a classic case of attempted remediation of the river that reproduces certain faults of the earlier renovation of the river in the 1930s. In time the planting of salt marsh and other species may soften the look, but the formidable sandstone banks erected will never approximate the banks before the era of steel piles. The decaying steel pile banks prompted this action on the part of a local council, but the replacement blocks of sandstone reproduce the essential features of the canalised river. The visual pollution of this sandstone wall is complemented by the provision, presumably for the sake of bikers who might skid off the path into the river and fall over the substantial sandstone ledge, of a visually polluting steel rail along large sections of the river.