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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Fish kill causes

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I refer to Suzie Deyris’s letter in Echonetdaily  November 24 concerning ‘a slimy green mat all along Belongil Beach… and a large number of dead fish along the tide line of Main Beach on Tuesday November 18.’ This was well before the current storms that occurred in the Bay.

A constellation of factors presents itself in relation to this concern.

1. The current wetland sewerage system remains at Stage 1 in development (Stage 2 and Stage 3 were mooted many years ago). Information to hand indicates that this system is coping with the inflow of effluent but not the outflow. A recent published letter was submitted to The Echo advising of outflow waters leaching onto a nearby farming property. The extent of water necessitated the removal of cattle to higher land.

2. Two decades ago the Belongil waters were tested, revealing dangerous residues in the creek sands. In particular, cadmium was noted. In other words any heavy dumping of materials in this sensitive estuary will stir up these dangerous deposits.

3. Flannery’s development has been in progress for well over six months. Has Council monitored this development recently? In particular, the removal of waste materials?

4. Has Council completed a comprehensive report on the functioning of Stage 1 of the sewerage works?

Fish kills are very serious and their source needs to be investigated. In a metaphorical sense this is the oceanic ‘canary in the coalmine’ factor. Toxic waters can affect the brain and sight of living organisms (humans included). Gut viruses in the human brain destroy co-ordination.

Before the wrecking ball of proposed development ignites in Byron, in particular West Byron and Ewingsdale developments, the above issue remains of imperative public interest. Once again I ask will the pro-development Byron councillors submit to the Byron community the proposed treatment of sewage plan? Will this plan include Stage 2 and Stage 3 development? The community urgently requests this plan for it will no doubt specifically support inappropriate development, aided by lots of ‘pollyspeak’.

Two questions more in relation to this proposed infrastructure – Who pays? Who gains?

Jo Faith, Newtown


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