Resident says creek being damaged
A WEST Cooroy resident claims Sunshine Coast Council water trucks are creating environmental damage by syphoning from Blackfellow Creek beside Jorgensen Rd.
The local said the sight of a council truck, which he photographed filling up last week, seemed to be a return to old work practices that were putting the local environment at risk.
The resident, who did not wish to be named, said the creek was a “known tributary containing platypus and EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act) listed giant barred frogs”.
He said the trucks were filling up from the creek, leaving deep wheel ruts in the creek bank with an apparent “she’ll be right, back ’er in” attitude.
In addition, a creek crossing flood depth indicator had also been knocked over.
“It is a water tanker with no council insignia on the door,” the resident said.
“They have a mix of council equipment plus using a Coates hire tipper placing road base down – they typically use a water tanker to spray water on the dirt road, while working both grader and compact roller.”
A council spokesman said council had a Department of Environment and Resource Management permit to remove water from the creek for use in dust minimisation, although drivers were required to take care when filling up.
The resident said he had spotted the water truck twice over two days and wondered on how many other occasions they may have been there.
He said using the water on the road surface in itself created other sediment concerns.
The resident said council would do well to read the sediment control section on its own website, which states: “Council seeks to ensure that those who cause land disturbance understand the issues of concern, plan their developments appropriately, and manage their sites in the best way possible to protect the environment and in particular the coast’s waterways.”
It continues: “Council has local laws under which it can fine those who do not use the correct erosion and sediment control measures. For example, council officers can issue an on-the-spot fine of $2000. Fines may reach over $1 million in court proceedings for major offences causing environmental harm.”
The council spokesman said its DERM permit allowed it to use creek water for dust minimisation when fixing sealed and gravel roads in the local vicinity, including Jorgensen Road.
“Such DERM permits are also employed by irrigators, rural residents and commercial road contractors,” he said.
“Council water trucks also utilise water filling points at (in the north) Pomona, Noosaville, Tewantin and Lake Macdonald points, as well as accessing non-potable water from Noosa Heads Sewerage Treatment Plant, depending upon where the work is being carried out.
“Drivers are required to take care in backing up to the creek to avoid erosion and with regard to wildlife around the creek area.”