Council told to clean up act
BUNDABERG Regional Council has been given two weeks to clean up its act after it was confirmed the Gin Gin Sewage Treatment Plant was leaking effluent into the river system.
The action came after the council decided early in September that the Gin Gin plant would not be incluyded in its sewerage upgrades, despite $5 million being allocated for its plant in the 2013/14 budget.
Cr Wayne Honor said after the meeting the Gin Gin plant was discharging water into a creek that ran into the Kolan River, and was operating illegally.
This week the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection confirmed the Gin Gin Sewage Treatment Plant was releasing effluent to receiving waters that failed to comply with approval limits.
A department spokesman said it was liaising with the council to ensure the Gin Gin plant was maintained and operated to an appropriate standard.
"To achieve compliance with the Environmental Protection Act and minimise environmental harm, the council has agreed to submit a Transitional Environmental Program within two weeks," the spokesman said.
"This will include a legally binding program of works to meet compliance."
Council water and wastewater spokesman Alan Bush said the council was forced to reassess funding options for the upgrade of Thabeban and Gin Gin wastewater treatment plants after tender prices came in far above the budgeted amount.
"That has meant that, for now, the Gin Gin Wastewater Treatment Plant has temporarily been put on hold, however it remains a shovel-ready project," Cr Bush said.