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First published in The Age, August 27, 1977.
Beauty spot now a ‘muddy – yallock’
Mordialloc boat builder Jack Pompei.Credit:Rodger Cummins
Mordialloc Creek — once a haven for wild life and dozens of species of fish — is today a smelly dirty mudhole.
So says Mr Jack Pompei who has lived in Mordialloc for more than 50 years and has seen the creek decline from one of Victoria’s prettiest tourist spots to a muddy mess.
“Nowadays they should call this place ‘muddy-yallock’ because the smell is so bad,” Mr Pompei said as he stared into the gluepot which was once a clear-flowing stream.
A grand day out, boating on the Mordialloc Creek, c.1900.Credit:State Library of Victoria
“The stink is so bad that it can give you a blinding headache,” he said.
“Really it was one of the prettiest spots in Melbourne I can remember in my childhood when there were 88,000 people who came to spend a day on the banks of the creek for a Saturday afternoon.
“And the fishing … people now have to go to Queensland to catch the different variety of fish we had here before 1952.”
Mr Pompei said fishermen had been able to net mud crabs, shrimp and bream in the creek.
“In fact the Mordialloc creek holds the record for the largest bream caught in Victoria — 6 ¼ lbs.”
At weekends he had to mark his fishing spot on the side of the bank in the morning. Otherwise he would not have had enough room to fish in the afternoon because it became so crowded.
The Pompei family who have been in Mordialloc for almost 100 years have been in ship building ever since they came to the area.
“After the floods in 1952 they shut the water off that flowed down from Dandenong into the creek and ever since then the place has fallen to bits, Mr Pompei said.
“The banks have caved in and stilted up the creek. It’s so bad that at low tide the 150 boats moored in the creek are stuck on the mud and you can’t move them.”
Mr Pompei said there was no reason why the creek could not he brought hack to its former magnificence.
His plan to fix up the creek is:
Hire a boat for a day out on the bay or the creek, c.1950.Credit:State Library of Victoria
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