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.

Buskers have time to enter Noosa comp

GET ENTRIES IN: Australian National Busking Championships are coming to Noosa.

Deadline extended for National Busking Championships in Noosa

Road closures and changed conditions start this weekend

DELAYS EXPECTED: Heading home through North Toowoomba this afternoon? Congestion is expected as Transport and Main Roads carry out works on Ruthven St between Campbell and Bridge Sts.

Sporting event and road works will impact traffic from Sunday

Biggest Morning Tea upsizes to fight cancer

Annie Evans from Cancer Council Noosa organised this year's biggest morning tea at the Noosa Boathouse.

Morning tea raises more than $3000

Local Partners

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

Buskers have time to enter Noosa comp

GET ENTRIES IN: Australian National Busking Championships are coming to Noosa.

Deadline extended for National Busking Championships in Noosa

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

Privacy and views in the heart of Noosa

Immaculate residence in exclusive Noosa Heads gated community

Saddle up for Noosa hinterland horse property

Purpose-built horse complex and residence on cleared 5.26ha

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!