As you a well aware from your attendance at the Info Session, the public are furious that, as LHM heads into its 6th consecutive year of closure that there still is no action plan. This is despite Griffith recommendation last year, after 3 years of comprehensive testing that a Phoslock application would offer the best solution to reduce algal blooms.
As you are also aware, engineering receive regular funding to provide ongoing maintenance to all lakes including LHM and that funding to implement the Phoslock application is available NOW!
The Care Group would like to formally request that you support your community and support the fast tracking of the feasibility study into phoslock to enable application before next summers algal bloom.
As elected Councillor for Div 12, we will be looking forward to your reply on how you intend to support long overdue action to this neglected community asset in your division.
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.
Council have advised, at very short notice that they are holding an information session this Saturday at Bel Air Park 10am to 12pm. Council Officers and representatives from Alluvium consulting will be providing information on the current state of the lake, history and characteristics.
The question was asked “what is the prognosis or future of the lake” without effective treatment, with the reply indicating that Algal blooms would continue, with increasing frequency and severity most likely
Clearly this outcome is not acceptable. With an alert issued last week for elevated algae levels, and increasing algal scum indicating yet another possible lake closure, this is a great opportunity to hear the issues and voice your concerns loud and clear to Council representatives over the lack of action, the lack of a plan and no timeline.
The recent photo highlights the ongoing poor state of the lake after 20 years of decline under Councils Management with the trend predicted to worsen over the coming years.
In December last year the Care Group met with Tony Webber and Council representatives to discuss options for improvement in water quality. The consultants have now collated and reviewed the available options so the Care Group have requested another meeting to discuss;
Proposed Feasible options.
Timeline for possible implementation.
Priority of the best options to make an improvement.
It was agreed at the last meeting that urgent action is required given the rapid decline in lake health and that Council are working towards possible action this summer to reduce the decline.
The Care Group will advise on outcome when response received.
The video shows the quality of water overflowing from Robina Waters into the canal adjacent to LHM. As a comparison, the photo shows the current water draining from LHM. Clearly the water quality in the lake looks far better than the canal.
A trial of a $6k one way valve could effectively isolate the lake from canal water and assist in the determination of the negative effects that these floodwaters have. As we wait for clarification from the consultants investigating feasibility and the rains continue, the big concern is further reduction in water quality from the canal system.
Unfortunately a swan has died after being attacked by a dog not secured by a lead. You only have to walk around the parklands on any day to find dog owners not obeying the law by letting their dogs run around unsecured.
The wildlife including swans around LHM have suffered enough due to loss of habitat and declining food sources as a result of the last 20 years of declining water quality. The last thing the dwindling wildlife population needs is the the harassed by dogs not secured.
Could you please spread the word that it is NOT OK to let your dog run around LHM without a lead and that increased patrols by officers will result in a fine to the minority group of dog owners that continue to place wildlife at risk.
With favourable weather conditions resulting in regular rain and increased cloud cover, LHM has managed in most cases to stay below closure level. While this may seem a positive improvement, the lake is still a long way from being healthy.
The view from the air over the weekend clearly shows the devastating effect the algal bloom has on LHM compared to other waterways. The BIG green that has been ongoing for the best part of a decade.
The consultants who are looking into feasibility “have worked through an number of options for Council”. Once this has been finalised, the next step is clearly effective and timely action by Council to implement.
Council are undertaking weed control and planting at Otway Park over the coming weeks. Works will include the removal of an undesirable aquatic plant species from the lake’s edge and planting of plants that contribute to water quality outcomes along the foreshore. The work will also focus on removing vines and reducing sediment runoff to improve general ecosystem health. Works to stabilise the large bare areas of soil are scheduled for the next financial year when further funds are available.