Please follow the link below for the latest newsletter from Council.
Please follow the link below for the latest newsletter from Council.
Merrimac High School are regular users of Lake Hugh Muntz and Store their sailing boats here. During Term 1 & 4 each year they need the lake for sailing and developing personal water skills in relation to water rescues and safety. Constant closures have made this impossible.
See link below for letter.
ABC radio host interviews Paul Taylor on the Lake Hugh Muntz closure due to algae.
Click on the link below and move forward to 1.06 minutes to hear the interview.
Support from users and user groups across the board are flooding in for the Save Lake Hugh Muntz Campaign. Concern is high regarding the possible loss of this valuable community asset.
Just some of the letters below:
The decision by Council not to allocate any funds to LHM as well as the downgrading of the lake to Secondary (no- Swimming) contact has residents and user groups up in arms! With the lack of communication from Council and the continued decline of water quality it is only a matter of time before the lake is closed Permanently!
Out of desperation, concerned residents have organised a protest and invited Channel 9 to film the event.
Despite only 1 days notice, over one hundred residents and user group representatives descended on Bel-air park to have their very angry voices heard.
The story should be live to air this Friday the 16th March on the 4 pm and the 530 pm news but check the program guide to confirm.
You will also be able to access the story on Channel 9’s facebook page.
For the second year in a row, Lake Hugh Muntz was closed this summer for high levels of algae!
In the 35-year history of this swimming lake, these consecutive closures are unprecedented with the last recorded algae outbreak before 2016/17 and 2017/18 closures way back in 2006!
Enquiries with council revealed that prior to the second closure, algae levels remained in the orange warning zone for an extended period. Clearly two consecutive closures highlight the poor condition of the lake and the inability to recover.
Will the Lake be Closed Next Year?
YES! The conditions in the lead up to the second algae outbreak were not unusual: A normal spring leading into a warm summer with the lake level relatively high for this time of year. The lake went into the Red/Closed level in December well before the hottest part of the season. It has NO capacity to survive the hottest month of the year, January or beyond into February for next year and subsequent years! Only in cooler, wetter months can the lake gasp for life.
Council Blame Environmental Conditions!
Prolonged hot weather was determined by council as the main environmental cause of the first outbreak. But why have other lakes not suffered under the same environmental conditions? Practically within walking distance of Lake Hugh Muntz is another freshwater lake with many similarities. Like LHM, West Lake in Robina is in a highly urbanised area, has drains from surrounding streets flowing into the lake and receives minimal flushing. Reed beds are installed as well as gully baskets to some of the drains. This lake also has several aerators installed. This lake has not suffered from any algae blooms over recent times with far better water quality than LHM.
A striking comparison of the two lakes in the images recently taken below highlights the appalling state of LHM.
Lake Hugh Muntz 7/1/18
West Lake 9/1/18
Why No Aerator or Other Solutions Investigated in LHM?
As an example of other solutions in use, West Lake and Robina Lakes have an extensive installation of Aerators. Aerators increase diffused oxygen in the water, which in turn supports and encourages the growth of beneficial aerobic bacteria. These beneficial bacteria break down organic matter and consume excess nutrients which helps to balance and improve water quality and reduce algae blooms.
What is Council Hiding?
The Care Group requested water quality results over 7 months ago after the initial algae outbreak. Previously, Council have provided results but now refuse our requests. Out of desperation, we have requested information under the “Right to Information Act 2009.” Under the circumstances, we have no confidence in Council providing an unbiased report on the ongoing condition of the lake. In the light of NO explanation by Council we are raising funds to seek an independent analysis.
Lake Now Toxic!
Algae danger levels are measured in several ways. By the number of algae cells per volume of water and by the percentage of toxins in a volume. Council advice indicated the lake is now in the red from excessive toxin levels.
How Much is Your Property Worth Now?
For the broader LHM community who paid a premium choosing to live near and enjoy an environmentally healthy freshwater lake, look at the comparison photos of LHM vs a healthy lake and ask the question “how much has your property value declined and why should you pay for Council’s mismanagement?”
Council’s Non-Plan to Reverse the Decline.
There has NEVER been a plan to implement the Council Approved management plan! The Care Group’s numerous requests for a “plan” were ignored. Improvements were only the result of resident complaints and the determination of the Care Group to get some progress.
Too little too late! These solutions alone were NEVER going to turn around the decline!
So What are Council Doing in This Crisis?
In a meeting with Council one year ago (in March 2017), Cr Taylor and Council officers advised:
The ongoing closures are a disaster for the health of the lake as well as the community who regularly use this public asset. The dependency on this lake for users and local clubs is highlighted by the fact that many are still swimming in the lake despite the risk to their health – for some users, there are no other suitable training areas available! Ongoing lake health issues need to be addressed URGENTLY!
Council Have Signed a “Death Sentence” for LHM!
YOUR URGENT ACTION REQUIRED!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
STEP 1. COULD YOU PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION ON OUR WEBSITE THAT STATES;
STEP 2. COULD YOU PLEASE SHARE THE WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE WITH YOUR CONTACTS to get as many signatures on the petition as possible and spread the word on the possible Death of Lake Hugh Muntz!
STEP 3. COULD YOU PLEASE COMPLAIN AND COMPLAIN LOUDLY TO THE DECISION MAKERS BELOW on the points above including;
Darren Ford. Coordinator Lakes and Waterways
Ph 07 5667-3875 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Taylor. Division 10 Councillor
Ph 07 5581-6171 Email: Division10@goldcoast.qld.gov.au
JOIN FACEBOOK SAVE LAKE HUGH MUNTZ
Out of desperation, the Care Group have requested the release of water quality results from Council using the Freedom of Information Act. Not that we need results to know that the lake is in bad condition, but the results may reveal HOW bad!
This action had to be taken after waiting 7 long months for results with no reason given!
Lets hope this is successful.
I have just received an update from Council on the condition of LHM. This council managed asset has now been closed for 1 month with on the latest tests indicating that the Algae levels are still increasing. The lake will remain closed for the foreseeable future until the levels decline.
With the possibility of increased toxins with the ongoing decline, it is important THAT YOU DO NOT SWIM IN THE LAKE!
In July last year, the Care Group in discussions with Council requested water quality results to determine the extent of degradation and trends. This was in response to the poor lake condition after the first Algae outbreak.
Despite after 6 months and numerous emails and phone calls, water quality results and summary of lake condition have not been supplied. With the latest outbreak, requests for water quality updates on Algae have also not been provided. The Care Group planned to update users on algae trending so we have an idea how long the lake will be closed during this high use period.
With the ongoing poor condition of the lake, residents and users need to know the “facts” on the ongoing degradation of this Council Managed Asset.
Within walking distance of LHM is another freshwater lake. This lake is in a similar environment in a highly built up area, street drains running into lake and minimal flushing.
When comparing the recent images below, the question has to be asked “Why has our lake been left to deteriorate to this condition”
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