What a fantastic result to have so many people turn up at short notice to have their say.
BUT what a total disaster for an information session.
EACH AND EVERY INDIVIDUAL came to hear what is the plan and what is the timeline to action but came out with zero information.
The only information came from the Alluvium Consultants indicating that by August they would have ranked the 30 odd options according to importance.
Lets spell out some facts to the Community and to Council.
Fact: Griffith Uni were engaged 3 years ago with the brief to reduce the occurrence of algal blooms.
Fact: Griffith thoroughly reviewed all options according their brief and extensively tested effectiveness under modelling and field tests to come up with ONE and only ONE option.
That recommendation was to trial Phoslock with sand capping with Phoslock alone as a cost effective solution.
Fact: Council indicated they would run their multi criteria assessment on the Griffith report and that would take a number of weeks.
Fact: Council changed their mind and decided to enlist external consultants and have now asked for feasibility of ALL long Term options to be considered.
Why was this not done 3 years ago? Because Council in an unbelievable stuff-up did not include mandatory lake health issues in the brief to be investigated. The result – a further 3 year delay! The limited brief to reduce algal blooms did not even cover loss of aquatic vegetation – a key reason for the ongoing water quality decline!
We now have consultants attempting to do a feasibility study on many options that have not even been investigated – in some cases with incomplete or non-existent data.
So why host an information session and not give the community any idea of timefame/budget allocation or process toward action?
Because once these options are ranked in August, there will be further delays for investigation, water testing etc amounting to years and years of delays!
At the meeting in November it was agreed between Council, Alluvium and the Care Group that the lake is on a rapid decline and urgent action is required. This lake cannot wait for further unnecessary delays in starting action.
Clearly there is only one way forward. To implement the one option that will no doubt be at the top of the list of all options. The one option that has been extensively researched, tested and proven to have the best outcome at reducing algae. The one option that has been recommended by the Griffith University team.
AND THAT IS THE PHOSLOCK APPLICATION!
The Care Group will be lobbying for assessment FIRST of the phoslock application to reduce Algae levels originally planned by Council to fast track implementation.
And SECOND, the assessment of lake health issues important for the long term recovery.
We request that the community contact our representative Clr Pauline Young and demand action for implementation of the Griffith Recommendations.