Letter: Outfall worries
IN A recent NewsMail it was wonderful to see the great loggerhead turtles again returning to the Mon Repos area to commence nesting.
These, along with lesser numbers of green, flatback and leatherback turtles all make their way annually to this important marine sanctuary as they have for thousands of years.
Having recently observed the great humpback whales with my wife, it really makes you realise how precious and beautiful is our section of the Barrier Reef. We can never be complacent, or drop our vigilance, regarding the health and wellbeing of these creatures and our beautiful oceans, as has happened elsewhere such as Gladstone.
With this in mind, I met with ministers at the not-so-recent local Community Cabinet to raise my concerns at the continued use of an ocean sewerage outfall at Bargara.
The relevant minister, as would be expected, was gracious and echoed my concerns, and advised that there was also another ocean outfall at Kawana on the Sunshine Coast that his department was monitoring along with the Bargara outfall.
I advised him that even though council are upgrading to link both Burnett Heads and Elliott Heads to the new sewage plant at Rubyanna, at present there were no plans to integrate the Bargara treatment works in the near future.
I specifically asked if State and Federal funding could be sought to solve what I consider a national disgrace, and end these sewerage outfalls.
Currently, new technologies such as the Janicki Omni processor, made particularly for developing countries to solve their human waste disposal problems, provide both energy, drinking quality water and 100% pathogen-free ash.
I ask readers to check this link out www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVzppWSIFU0 and ask why we still use outdated systems in this country which pollute our rivers and oceans with human waste.
This week I received the State Government follow-up advising of continued water quality monitoring and also advising that there are no current problems with the outfall as in water quality harm or effects to the environment.
If you consider hundreds of metres of algal slime on the ocean floor pluming towards Mon Repos beach acceptable standards I guess that would be correct.
This was reported several years ago by a PhD student doing a research on ocean outfalls in a glass bottom boat.
I invite anyone to walk around the corner from Nielson Park and have a look at the small deserted cove roughly diagonal to the sewage works and just look and tell me if it looks like a healthy section of coast.
The fact that turtles have to swim through our treated effluent to breed is disgraceful and we should consider it a most disrespectful abuse of our natural world.
It is hypocritical to say we care about the turtles and worship them as icons of the area, but then let them be treated as nothing more than lures for tourism. It all smacks of greenwashing.
I am using this forum to ask, are there any local divers, or local businesses in possession of a glass bottom boat, that may be able to film the area around the outfall, and could assist in determining any evidence of degradation due to the outfall.
Oxygen levels also would need to be monitored; however a visual trail of algal slime would suffice as proof of harm at this stage.
Bundaberg, can you assist for the sake of our marine life and our turtles? Please contact me via Bundaberg Landcare.