Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads
Comments by utility manager Cameron Clark (Echo, July 31, p4) indicates lower ratepayer fees brought about by lower licence administration fees by the EPA owing to ‘the low nutrient loading of pollutants at council’s sewerage treatment plants (STPs) means lower ratepayer fees, say staff’.
This is connected with licence charges by the EPA. These charges are quite small so the saving passed on will be minuscule. But good on the sewer operators for a job well done.
I hope this report showing the STPs are performing so well will cause the council to rethink the proposed closure of Ocean Shores sewerage treatment plant by 2027.
Byron Council adopted a reuse policy where effluent from STPs would be available for reuse, but this hasn’t been pursued with any vigour.
The northern part of the Shire has never been given the opportunity to have access to reuse, thus removing the impact on potable water. With the closure of Ocean Shores STP this potential access to reuse for the north of the Shire will likely disappear.
Director of infrastructure Philip Holloway or general manager Mark Arnold, as you’ve halved the outdoor staff numbers and replaced them with people from labour-hire organisations, the methodology seems to be labor hire staff are more cost-effective. If this is the case why is the same methodology not applied to salaried staff positions, which are all employed as permanent positions and number close to three hundred?