Owner of fish hatchery seeks compo

A $2 million compensation claim has been lodged in the Queensland Supreme Court by the owner of a Noosa fish hatchery who alleges agricultural spray drift has ruined her business and her health.

Sunland Fish Hatchery’s Gwen Gilson on Wednesday filed the legal suit against the owner and operator of a neighbouring Boreen Point macadamia farm she blames for major fish kills and birth deformities.

These include two-headed and three-tailed fish embryos, as well as some with extruding stomachs.

Ms Gilson’s legal team at Shine Lawyers also called for an immediate ban on the fungicide carbendazim in Australia and were seeking a ruling that the chemicals had wreaked genetic havoc on her fish stock.

This was after Ms Gilson aired her frustrations over a prolonged battle to stop the fish kills and mutations on the ABC’s 7.30 Report on Tuesday.

In that program she revealed the ongoing battle for the State Government investigating taskforce to sort out the cause of the contamination had taken a toll, and she may be forced to shut down the hatchery.

“It’s absolutely devastating,” she told the ABC.

On Wednesday she further revealed the alleged impacts of the contamination.

“I’ve lost three horses, the family dog, and had literally millions of fish killed by the pesticides and fungicides.

“I’ve had problems diagnosed with my liver, and talking to other neighbours, they’re experiencing unusual health problems too. It seems we’re all being poisoned.”

Shine Lawyers solicitor Rebecca Jancauskas said carbendazim was a fungicide known to cause birth defects in humans, and claimed it had been detected at the hatchery.

Ms Jancauskas said the chemical was banned in countries throughout the world and was voluntarily removed from the US market by DuPont almost a decade ago. She said there was a lack of appropriate warnings on these products.

“This has to serve as a wake-up call to the Australian Pesticides’ regulator,” Ms Jancauskas said.

“We need to follow the lead of other countries and completely ban this harmful chemical.”

Ms Gilson’s lawyers will argue that the farmer operators failed their responsibility to ensure harmful chemicals did not drift into the hatchery.

Ms Gilson also claimed there were impacts from chemicals in the nearby Noosa River system, which was fed by the outflow of Cooloothin Creek that runs past the macadamia plantation and hatchery.

“I have captured male fish from the river system and attempted to breed with them, but they’ve produced severely deformed embryos,” she said.

Farmer Troy Ziesemer told the Noosa News he felt he had done everything possible to prevent spray drift or pesticide contamination. Mr Ziesemer said he felt this latest action would finally settle the dispute.

However, he said he would be taking legal action against Ms Gilson and TV program 60 Minutes for defamation. The Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) said it was disappointed legal action had been taken.

AMS chief executive officer Jolyon Burnett said the neighbouring farmer was using pesticides responsibly.

“Obviously this sort of publicity is not good. I believe we have an unparalleled record of both food safety and good environmental practice.”

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Firebird Trio performing 'outside the box' on tour

GIFTED MUSICIANS: Firebird Trio will play in Noosa this weekend.

On Sunday the critically-acclaimed Firebird Trio will play in Noosa

'Stella' effort by teenage musician

LOCAL TALENT: Stella McCloskey has just released her first EP.

Sixteen-year-old Stella McCloskey has just released her first album.

Kids do their bit to find a cure

FUNKY HAIR: Cameron (at rear) with friends Finley, Emma, Alana and Nate enjoying a funky hair day at Bambini Early Childhood Development to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Last week locals did their bit for the World's Greatest Shave

Local Partners

Cooroy Lifeline Denim Sale to raise funds for crisis line

Denim, jackets, leather goods, art, linen, tea towels, manchester and retro homewares all going cheap to raise funds for Lifeline's crisis support line.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

Daredevils of Nitro Circus to thrill Lismore

Oakes Oval in Lismore will host the sell-out, worldwide phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live during its 15-city Australian tour in April.

The (in)famous 55-foot high Nitro Giganta ramp is the centrepiece

CHOOSING LIFE: Emu Park veteran leads way out of PTSD

WINNING THE FIGHT: Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial ahead of her official Matilda Poppy launch this weekend.

Andrea Josephs will officially launch Matilda Poppy in new hometown

Only one woman nominated for the Gold Logie

JESSICA Marais is about to star in a new Logies controversy, as the only woman to be nominated for Gold.

Beer in boot makes lasting impression at CMC Rocks

Country music star Tyler Farr posted this picture of himself drinking a 'booty' at the CMC Festival.

American country star Tyler Farr debuts at CMC Rocks

Our Caitlyn a No.1 hit at CMC Music Awards

RISING STAR: Caitlyn Shadbolt at the CMC Music Awards on the Gold Coast.

Caitlyn Shadbolt enjoys one of the most exciting weeks of her career

Steve ventures into the wild unknown on epic mission

Steve Backshall pictured along the Baliem River in a scene from Extreme River Challenge.

Wildlife presenter Steve Backshall tackles wild river challenge.

TV Insider: MKR has lost its recipe for success

My Kitchen Rules judges Colin Fassnidge and Pete Evans with guest judge Curtis Stone, right.

MKR needs a shake (up) of more than just the sauce bottle.

Travis Collins, Keith Urban win big at CMC Music Awards

Country music singer Travis Collins.

LEE Kernaghan also inducted into CMC Hall of Fame.

Firebird Trio performing 'outside the box' on tour

GIFTED MUSICIANS: Firebird Trio will play in Noosa this weekend.

On Sunday the critically-acclaimed Firebird Trio will play in Noosa

Immaculate inside and out

Substantial modern home with pool in Noosa lake-side location

Opportunities lined up at Noosa auctions

Variety the key to properties lined up for auction at Noosa Heads

Launch of brand and opening of new office

Brett Graham, Tony Warland and Dan Smith celebrate the new Ray White office opening in Burnett St, Buderim.

Ray White celebrate expansion

An extraordinary offering

The talk of town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!