On the back of widespread public concern over inaction addressing 20 years of declining lake health, Council engaged Griffith Uni with the scope to;
Reduce the Occurrence of Algae Blooms. That’s it!
NO objectives for long term lake health, NO scope for investigation into catchment management issues and NO environmental considerations.
The limited scope given to Griffith Uni is not going to provide what the community require and that is a long term improvement in lake health.
In contrast, Councils 2008 management plan objectives were;
To ensure that the lake system is maintained as a healthy and
aesthetically valuable environment, indicative of a freshwater lake
system in a sub tropical environment
lets compare other lakes currently having algae issues, for example,
Forest Lake in Brisbane. Brisbane City Council has invested 1 Million Dollars in lake repair with the outcome;
To reduce algal blooms on Forest Lake and improve the health of the lake ecosystem.
Councils inadequate scope given to Griffith Uni experts is hindering and delaying efforts to find a long term effective solution.
The Care Group request that the following mandatory objectives be added to the scope and will be raising the issue with Clr Young at the next meeting;
- Action to improve the long term health of the lake.
- Investigation and action on Catchment management Issues.
- Consideration of all environmental Issues.
Please follow link below for full info but in summary,
Given the relaxation of COVID restrictions the Care Group again request a meeting to discuss;
- Request to honour election commitment on Catchment Management improvements.
- Expedite action this summer to reduce further decline.
- Action/Inclusion of key issues including Lake health in Griffith Objectives.
Care Group Letter of Reply
The Care Group have inquired why the lake has remained closed after having readings below the red trigger closure levels for the last 2 months. Council advised that Toxin levels are also tested and are still above the recommendation for primary contact.
The concern was raised that potential users of the lake could make a false judgment based on the incomplete information in the GCCC graph and prematurely start using the lake without knowing the consequences. The Care Group have asked that the toxin levels be added to the graph and remind users not to swim in the lake while closure signs are present.
Graph Courtesy of GCCC.
The Care group prepared an open letter to Councillor Young outlining what we would like to see progress over the next 4 years.
Councillor Young has replied outlining Councils stance.
The Care group will be sending a detailed reply but in summary;
The Care Group objectives are made to address key issues effecting the long term health and recovery. Key issues that Council and Griffith have failed to address or even acknowledge. We also support an evidence-based approach and expect that key issues receive the appropriate scientific research that they deserve.
We have no issues with Council rejecting our suggestions provided they have better solution!
Simply doing nothing in resolving key problems is not going to resolve the Critical Condition of Lake Hugh Muntz.
Please follow links to documents below:
Care Group Open Letter to Councillor Young.
Councillor Young’s Letter of Reply.
The Care Group have requested an investigation into record algae levels after rain events in late January. The rain events coincided with significant inputs of dirty water from the canal. Unfortunately, neither Council or Griffith tested the inflow of water during the recent rains. Council however have been testing the canal water at specific high tide events and advised of high nitrogen levels (red arrow)
The graph shows the average yearly concentrations in LHM which are well above the Water Quality Objectives (dotted red line) for the Nerang Catchment including LHM.
No doubt, nutrient levels in the lake would also be elevated to a certain degree but ongoing and future works including gully baskets, Phoslock applications and catchment management improvements are all aimed at controlling and reducing nitrogen levels toward the water quality objectives of a healthy lake.
The concern is that unknown inputs from the canal including high nitrogen levels are going to reduce the effectiveness of any lake based improvements.
Clearly the unknown inputs of dirty, high nutrient and possibly polluted waters from the canal may not beneficial to the long term health of the lake. We request further investigation of lake inflows to determine the suitability of a one-way valve.
A quick link has been added to the LHM page for easy access to the latest algae results. Simply go to lakehughmuntz.com.au and click the link.
While the results are trending down, the lake unfortunately still remains closed over the Easter period.
Pauline Young has successfully returned as Councillor for Div12 after the recent elections. With the electoral boundary change, Lake Hugh Muntz is now part of her area and responsibility.
The Care Group are keen to work with Pauline to ensure all sporting groups including Nippers, Tri clubs, schools and the local community have a safe, reliable and healthy Lake to use for recreation and training now and more importantly into the future.
Pauline’s commitment to LHM can be found Here
If you need to raise issues on a Councillor level, Pauline can be contacted on;
Phone: 07 5581 6382
Fax: 07 5581 7640
Mobile: 0475 677 181
Due to community concern over record algae levels and the clear observations of declining water quality, the Care Group have requested investigation and feedback on the decline. Clearly the community need to be updated on the worsening condition of LHM.
The recent rains have resulted in significant discolouration of water compared to previous Algal blooms. Even past rainfall events of over 500mm in one month have not resulted is such deterioration.
In particular the Care Group have asked as part of the investigation if Council could advise;
Were water tests taken of inflow from the canal during the rainfall events and if so;
Were the inflows a significant factor in water quality decline?
Phoslock was chosen for a whole lake trial by Griffith after very successful testing using actual water taken from depth at LHM. Despite extra Phosphorus added to the water during the tests, Phoslock was successful in removing all Phosphorus below detectable limits.
The results from the field trial were vastly different – no change in Phosphorus on the surface of the lake and minor change in levels at depth. It is important to note, that in Griffith Phoslock Trial Report, there we no reasons given for the lack of change in Phosphorus. Was it due to insufficient quantities applied?
Clearly the trial did NOT release the full potential of this product or the full potential to make a difference to the water quality of LHM.
Griffith have confirmed the benefits of Phoslock by recommending a further application with sand capping. With no action confirmed, an unknown time frame for implementation and the ongoing decline, the Care Group request that a top up of Phoslock at effective levels to bind the existing Phosphorus be done ASAP.
The latest algae results this week clearly eclipse all previous readings confirming observations of continual decline and the urgent need for action!
If you don’t want to see the lake in this horrible state for years, then you need to raise your concerns directly with GCCC.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 1300465326
The Care group have asked Candidates for a statement on their commitment to the restoration of LHM. It is important moving forward, that LHM has a Councillor that’s supports the community over the next 4 years to make this lake a priority!
I request that you review and share candidate statements in the Div12 electorate so the voters can make an informed decision when attending the polls on the 28th of March.
Zac Revere LHM Commitment
Cathy Osborne LHM Commitment
Pauline Young LHM Commitment
The current state of the lake!