Where are the Green councillors in the sewage debate?
In March 2017, Byron Shire Council’s Coast Estuary Catchment Panel recommended to council ‘that Council acknowledge its commitment at the commissioning of Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant to relying on reuse to match increases in sewer load and either find a strategy to achieve that level of reuse or consider calling a moratorium’.
This advice never reached council. In July, it did in the public access session of the extraordinary meeting about the Villa World DA. Unfortunately, councillors took advice from staff and weakened Cr Ndiyae’s motion so that only the ‘concerns of landholders’ would be ‘referenced’ in council’s submission to the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
What does all this mean? Over the past ten years, the effluent discharge from the STP has risen from 1 megalitre/day in dry weather to 3-5 megalitres/day. This contravenes a 2006 agreement with private landowners, also members of the Union Drain Trust, whose drains are used to distribute the effluent. In 2006, increases in effluent reuse in town, rural industry and wetlands were all planned but by 2017 not accomplished.
As community representative on this group, I also alert you to the latest report, costing approx $350K. It identifies impacts the discharge has on the private lands. It suggests that ever-growing quantities of effluent be re-routed through the drains of the Arts & Industrial Estate into the West Byron drain and the Belongil.
Dr Mary Gardner, PhD historical marine ecology and deep resilience, Byron Bay
And truly depressing revelations from FOUR CORNERS on ABC TV. Time for real action against the water thieves.
Stand up for the birds of the Basin
The rivers and wetlands of the Murray–Darling Basin are intimately linked to the livelihoods of hundreds of Australians.
But it’s not just people who depend on a healthy Basin.
The Murray–Darling Basin is a rich and complex ecosystem that supports a unique array of wildlife, including hundreds of bird species.
From wetlands to woodlands, the birds of the Basin all rely on a healthy river system to survive.
In 2012, our governments committed to a Murray–Darling Basin Plan that strived to provide both communities and wildlife with enough water, but now that Plan is under threat.
Our birdlife are at risk of losing the water they need to survive, at a time when so many of these species are already experiencing dramatic declines.
Sign our petition calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to stand strong on the Murray Darling Basin Plan and stand up for the birds of the Basin.
Read more about the birds of the Murray Darling Basin here.
Image: Red-necked Avocets by Chris Purnell
By signing this petition, you’re showing your support for communities and birds that depend on a healthy basin.
To see more of the community petitions that make up our unified movement of support for the basin, visit www.change.org/m/murray
This petition will be delivered to:
Prime Minister of Australia