Brief Update on Council Meeting

The Care Group met with Griffith and Council to discuss the Stage 3 Griffith Report recommendations on the reduction of Algal Blooms.

Council have advised they have enlisted Alluvium Consultants to review the Griffith report and perform the feasibility study.

The care group raised concern that the Griffith report, a report with the scope to reduce the frequency and duration of algal blooms did not include investigation into key lake health issues including plant loss and stratification.

The Griffith specialist Michelle Burford confirmed that plant loss was not one of the briefs for investigation.

It is important that all aspects are included in the feasibility study especially key lake health issues. The Care Group will be seeking clarification from Council to confirm this is correct.

It is great news that well respected consultants are performing the feasibility study and is important that all possible options are investigated including aeration, one-way valve etc are considered.

The care group have requested a meeting with the consultants to ensure they are aware of key observations and issues from a resident perspective.

Council were unable to provide any idea of completion but indicated a possible meeting Mid Next year? This is not consistent with previous correspondence that advised;

Once Griffith University’s experiments and report are completed in June 2020, officers will then commence the multi criteria analysis process on recommendations from the report to determine the feasibility, environmental & social considerations and associated costs of potential options. This will likely take a number of weeks to complete.

The care group will be seeking clarification on the expected completion of review and have requested a timeline on when new can finally expect some action.

It is expected to call another community meeting in a few weeks to discuss the meeting after clarification of the above.

 

 

Council Meeting Restrictions Set to Silence Community Feedback

The community meeting was a great success today and would like to thank all who attended. The community feed back echoed the Care Groups many concerns that need to be discussed at the upcoming LHMSG meeting with Council.

Unfortunately key attendees at the LHMSG meeting including the head engineer and both Griffith Uni specialists will not be physically attending but online.

Despite many requests  for connectivity to display documents, graphs etc to all attendees as a necessary part of discussions, this request has been refused.

Clearly the inability to display information along with severely restricted time frames will hamper the ability of the Care Group Rep to convey and represent the community and is unacceptable.

The points open for discussion are included in the Reply To Clr Youngs Letter.

If you would like your voice to be heard could you please raise your concern directly with the decision makers below;

Council Contacts;

Email: lakehughmuntz@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

Phone: 1300465326

Councillor Pauline Young
City of Gold Coast
T: 07 5581 6382
PO Box 5042 Gold Coast Mail Centre Qld 9729

division12@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

 

Park Improvement Works to Commence Next Week

Some great news with Council advising commencement of park improvement works that were indicated at the Care Group Meeting with parks back in February.

The primary objectives are to raise presentation levels, improve public safety, minimise soil erosion and debris run off into the water body, improve sustainability and the functionality of the public open space.

The Griffith management options report stated;

“Most catchment-based actions represent long-term investments in lake health”

With effective implementation followed up with ongoing maintenance, these works will provide ongoing benefits into the future.

The latest Griffith Report highlighted the importance reducing nutrient loads into the lake with modelling indicating load reduction the best option for reducing phosphorus levels! It is important that work is continued in the many other problem areas as the effectiveness of a Phoslock application can be hampered if there are still high concentrations of external phosphorus entering a waterbody after a Phoslock treatment.

It is important that residents continue to address any runoff issues from their properties including reduction in fertiliser use.

Griffith University Stage 3 Report Released to the Public – Community Meeting

With no commitment on Care Groups request to release the report before the upcoming meeting and the limited time frame, the Care Group had no option but to request release of the report under the ”Freedom of Information Act.”

I am pleased to say Council has now released the report to the public without the Care Group taking further action.

We are now digesting the report in order to formalize our view and will organise a public meeting in the next few weeks to discuss the report and get community feedback.

LHMSG Meeting With Council

Unfortunately despite Care Groups request to allow the public to attend the release and discussion over this report, Council have indicated this meeting will be closed to the public.

Please follow link to Griffith Uni Stage 3 Report

The battle to save LHM continues.

Algae Levels Already Consistently Above Lake Closure

Current Algae levels are a real concern. Similar algae levels last year were not reached until January, we are now looking at a lake closure in October!

To have the lake close in Spring is a disaster for all users!

This rapid decline is most certainly grounds for fast tracking the recommendations in the upcoming Griffith Report and the Care Group will be raising this at the upcoming meeting on the 10th of November.

Update On Meeting with Council and Final Report

Councilor Young has advised that the next LHM Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 10 November at the Nerang Administration Building at 2pm.

Griffith University experts will present their findings contained within the report to the group enabling questions to be raised and clarified.

A key point was that the report would not be available UNTIL AFTER THE MEETING!

Clearly this is unacceptable! The Care Group cannot understand the rational behind withholding a report from the community.

The Care group planned a public meeting after the release of the report to allow residents and users to raise their concerns to be addressed at the meeting. Without the prior release of the report, no community consultation can take place.

Representatives attending the meeting have to come up with questions “on the spot” without any prior review of the presentation or report. Again, this is unacceptable.

The Care Group request that;

  • The Report and any Presentations be available at least 3 weeks before meeting as has been the case with previously.
  • That the draft meeting agenda be available and that attendees are given the opportunity to add to the agenda.
  • That the general public be allowed to attend the meeting if they so desire – the proposed location has very limited space given social distancing.
  • That adequate time be allowed for discussion. There are numerous questions that remain unanswered from the previous meeting a year ago which is unacceptable.

 

Algae Now Above Closure Level- Still no Reply from Council

The latest algae graph show levels well above closure – after being opened for barely 6 weeks!

Still no reply from Engineering or our Councillor on basic information including;

Why is the report now 3 months overdue, when will the report be released to the public and most importantly when will the recommendations be implemented.

I would again request that concerned users and residents continue to escalate and follow up with Council on action to address the now critical state of the lake.

Below is an example of a letter sent to our Council representative echoing the concerns of the LHM community.

It is with great concern that I write this email due to the declining state of Lake Hugh Muntz and it’s future useability.

I voted for you due to your commitment to this area, the lake and our livelihoods. You once again expressed commitment upon taking power where you represent the community of Division 12, however since then I have been disappointed.

I have been made aware that there has been a lack of information flow on the Lakes action plan and therefore lack of action in solving this matter. I believe you are not responding to calls for information and there is no follow up for many months which is just terrible from a councillor who is our point of contact, our voice.

What is it you are hiding, why not communicate, what action plan do you have? Are you waiting for the problem to get too big and then just give up because it’s too hard?

This is not an issue that will go away and this is an issue that needs attention now. In fact it needed attention many years ago, but was neglected by the council and it seems that this neglect will continue. I know it is a big complicated problem, however time is of the essence which just seems to continue to waste away as does the future prospects of the lake with it.

Please act now, take charge, lead this community and make a lasting difference. Please change my mind and back up the commitment you made to the community that elected you and work towards improving Lake Hugh Muntz to its former glory.

 

Request for Community Involvement in Upcoming Lake Hugh Muntz Stakeholder Group Meeting

Given the many years of research and a keen interest from the local community in the release of the Griffith final report, the Care Group recommend a venue to allow community access and participation in the important discussions relating to recommendations in this report.

The recommendation is that the Albert Community hall or similar be used as the venue due to the close proximity to users and a capacity to provide a COVID safe meeting place.

This Venue was used previously by Council with success on the release of the reed beds.

Lake In Crisis and Heading for Closure- Council Response Unacceptable

With the lake barely open for a month, the latest algae graph indicates the lake is about to close again due to high algae concentrations.

Council and Griffith Uni have been well aware of expected worsening of conditions on the back of record algae levels and the lake deteriorating to the worst conditions ever seen earlier this year!

So what are Council doing in this crisis?

  • We have our Councillor Pauline Young elected to represent the community not even accepting calls from the Care Group or concerned residents, passing inquires off to the dept that has continually failed to address issues.
  • We have the Griffith report now 3 months overdue – no explanation on why this report has not been released or any expected time frame on release. This represents a further delay in getting action to this crisis.
  • We have NO response to any of our many concerns and requests raised in our Care Group Reply to Clr Youngs Letter over two and a half months ago!

The Care Group request that EVERY concerned resident, users and user groups contact our Councillor and the engineering Dept and voice there concern over lack of information and lack of action.

Clr Pauline Young

Ph. 07 5581 6382    Email: Division12@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

Engineering Dept.

Ph 07 5667 3893 Email: lakehughmuntz@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

While raising your concern on the above issues, ask what is happening to Care Group requests contained in the Letter to Clr Young including;

  • Fast tracking Griffith solutions including Phoslock this summer to prevent further decline.
  • What are Clr Youngs  plans to honor election commitments to address long outstanding catchment management issues including grass clippings?
  • Mandatory inclusion of Lake Health in Griffiths investigation not just reduction in algal blooms. Why has something important as Lake health been left out?
  • PROPER investigation into the negative effects of high nutrient floodwater entering the lake and the many advantages of the installation of a one-way valve at the outlet.
  • Action Plan to address the  significant loss of submerged aquatic vegetation which is mandatory in any lake recovery.
  • Action in addressing key issues effecting long term lake health including the severe stratification – What condition would the lake be in for example in10 years if stratification is not addressed?