Catchment Management Issues – Parks

Unfortunately due to the Care Group lockout of Council Meeting due to terms and conditions we were unable to present a video on park issues for comment at the recent meeting with Park Officials.

The Care Group have requested Councils review on problems highlighted in the video below to ensure effective measures are taken to reduce runoff into the lake and that the current works in parks cover these problems.

ISSUES

  • Unsuitable Planting. Past attempts at covering bare soil have largely been unsuccessful – it is pointless returfing where growing conditions are unsuitable or where the grass will not survive dry weather. Plants offer a better solution.

 

  • Fixed Schedule Mowing. Mowing contracted on a regular schedule quite often results in lawn being cut while suffering in drought conditions – the lawn is effectively “mowed to death” increasing bare patches. Mowing should be conducted on an as needed basis.
  • Mowing With No Catcher. This results in clippings washed directly into the lake as well as clogging drain filters. Mowing with catcher has 2 advantages; Reduction in waste washing into the lake and removal of nutrients (locked up in lawn clippings) from the catchment area. Residents remove tons of garden waste every month via the green waste bins.

 

 

 

 

 

POSSIBLE TRIAL?

If mowing the whole area of parks with a catcher is cost prohibitive, then leave a strip of lawn adjacent to lake unmowed to act as a barrier to filter runoff. The smaller area can then be mowed with a catcher depending on growth to remove clippings AND collected material. This process could also be used in parks to filter runoff to roads as well and to aid in water retention.

Property Value Impact from Ongoing Decline in Water Quality

Many residents have shown concern over the effect on property prices as a result of the ongoing decline in water quality. The lake is now experiencing its third consecutive closure through the peak use summer season which is unpreceded.

While it is difficult to determine how much, with so many homeowners directly affected, the overall losses are quite substantial.

For example, if waterfront properties declined 100k, this represents a loss of 11.2 million out of the pockets of waterfront owners. This does NOT include the flow on effect to the many surrounding properties!

With no plan by Council to turn around the ongoing decline, prospective buyers have no confidence in purchasing around the lake.

Please review the advice below from a local respected real estate agent on the current market in the area.

As discussed over the past 15 years that I have been selling Real Estate in the area properties around Lake Hugh Muntz have always been a highly sought after as the lake has previously offered a safe environment for water activities.  I have had numerous previous buyers sell ocean access canal properties to relocate to the Lake.

Given the declining condition of the Lake I have spoken to several property owners who are now reluctant to sell as they feel the lake being closed for primary contact will have a negative impact on their property value.

In my professional opinion, should the Lake no longer be suitable for primary contact or continue to remain closed for extended periods, the desirability of Lake Front properties to potential property buyers would significantly decrease thus having a negative impact on sale prices.

Important Notice To Lake Hugh Muntz Residents & Users

Care Group Locked out of Council Lake Community Meeting

Your Immediate Action Is Required

Gold Coast City Council have established a new group to represent Lake Hugh Muntz. The New Group titled the Lake Hugh Muntz Stakeholders Group (LHMSG) is CONTROLLED BY GOLD COAST CITY COUNCIL and is designed to restrict the information that it is distributed to the residents and user groups of Lake Hugh Muntz.

To be a part of this group, you have to agree to restrictive conditions – any communications from the meetings has to be approved by Council!

LHM Care Group IS THE COMMUNITY GROUP, originally setup BY GOLD COAST CITY COUNCIL and attended by residents and key user groups. We have been facilitating the exchange of information between Council, residents and key groups for more than seven years. We are transparent, we do not censor the information we receive. The Community has a right to know what is going on with Lake Hugh Muntz, good and BAD!

The LHM Care Group has asked Council to remove the restrictive terms and conditions and Council have refused.

Lake Hugh Muntz Care Group HAVE BEEN FORCED TO DECLINE the first meeting of the ‘new group’ scheduled for Monday, 25 March 2019.

What does this mean for residents and users of Lake Hugh Muntz? If Gold Coast City Council is successful in setting up this new group, you will no longer have a say in what happens to Lake Hugh Muntz. All information published about the lake will be highly censored; the community will no longer have a voice.

By Council imposing these restrictions, Council are STOPPING FREEDOM OF SPEECH, a fundamental right of all Australians including the care group!

If you care about Lake Hugh Muntz. You must take action now!

Be heard and have a voice now while you can.

Call and Email-  our elected representative, tell him;

  1. You do not recognise this ‘new stakeholders group’;
  2. Demand that the Lake Hugh Muntz Care Group be present at all Council meetings concerning Lake Hugh Muntz.
  3. Demand that the censoring of information about Lake Hugh Muntz be removed from these meetings!

Paul Taylor. Division 10 Councillor. Ph 07 5581 6171 division10@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

Please see “Complaint Letter” to Paul Taylor.

Please see detailed email requesting “Removal of Conditions Highlighting Concerns”

Please review  “Restrictive Terms and Conditions”

Have your Say on Councils Budget for 2019!

GCCC are requesting all residents to have their say on how Councils spends its 1.5 Billion dollars by completing a survey online.

In question 4 the survey asks;

“If you could fix one local issue what would that be?”

This is a great opportunity to highlight the need to “fix” Lake Hugh Muntz so could you please take time to fill in and prioritise what you want funds spent on in your local area!

Link below;

Have Your Say!

 

Water Quality Monitoring Station Damaged by Youths

Unfortunately a group of youths managed to overturn the water quality monitoring station on Friday.

Local residents called Police and at this stage it is unknown whether charges will be laid. Apart from serious damage to the electronics, water quality measurements are now indefinitely interrupted until the damage is repaired. The monitoring platform was recovered by Council workers on Saturday. It is important that users of the lake STAY OFF THE PLATFORM! This is not designed as a rest stop for SUP’s or as a diving platform!

S

Brisbane City Council to Spend One Million Dollars to Fight Algae at Forest Lake

Brisbane Council Plan to Implement Aerators in Forest Lake: Why isn’t the Gold Coast CC exploring this option for Lake Hugh Muntz?

Forest Lake is a freshwater lake, located approximately 20 km from the Brisbane CBD, and has a lot in common with Lake Hugh Muntz in Mermaid Waters on the Gold Coast.

This non- swimming lake is about two thirds the size of LHM and has also been battling with Blue Green Algae for many years.

Forest Lake is situated in a highly built up area, surrounded by many properties that are directly affected by the ongoing decline in lake health.

Like LHM, Forest Lake has experienced delays in finding and implementing effective treatment. This has resulted in a further decline of water quality, an increased difficulty in finding a resolution, along with increased maintenance costs.

The similarities end here.

Brisbane City Council (BCC) have a “ Management Plan” and an approved budget of one million dollars to implement effective trials to combat the algae. This is on top of the fifty thousand dollars that BCC has spent on lake maintenance every year.

Please see link below to a video for more info on the trial of bottom aerators as the first step in lake restoration

Council Announcement – Lake Repair

 

Black Deposits Surfacing on Lake

Floating Black Deposits have been reported in several areas on the Eastern side of the lake in front of properties and parklands. Similar deposits have surfaced in the West side of the lake in the past. The West side of the lake is in a critical condition – no oxygen at the lower levels contributing to a build-up of decaying material.

To date, there has never been a reported occurrence in the Eastern lake. Clearly this cannot be seen as a positive indication.

Council advised that the black spots were collected by CMU and have been identified as decaying organic matter. Council has indicated that these types of ‘black spots’ occur routinely across most old lakes.

Latest Water Quality Results

Please see the info below courtesy GCCC.  “Hotspots” for algae included in image below;

Recent water quality testing undertaken within Lake Hugh Muntz has indicated an increase in Algae Biovolume. The most recent graph and further information can be found on the City’s Lake Hugh Muntz Website.

http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/lake-hugh-muntz-cyanobacteria-biovolume-graph-45559.html

The recent hot weather is not helping and is most likely the cause of the sudden spike in algal biovolume.  A possible reason for two locations having higher biovolumes could be attributed to windblown algal accumulating at these locations.

Next sampling will be undertaken on Tuesday 29th January 2019 for cyanobacteria identification and biovolume.