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Ayr Creek a health hazard

AYR Creek is believed to be causing health risks to Inverloch residents and visitors.
The information was presented to Bass Coast Shire Council at the Community Connection Session recently.
Toxic blue green algae blooms formed in the lagoon last summer.
Although blue green algae has not reappeared yet, high temperatures during the summer months cause the blooms.
Inverloch resident Steve Evans said nitrogen phosphate from the town’s stormwater runoff is entering the creek and the water becomes trapped in the inlet. Once the hot weather strikes, the algae blooms.
Blue green algae has been known to cause gastro and dermatitis. Fine spray droplets blown in the wind can also cause respiratory problems.
Mr Evans said this was a concern for the 26 residents living near Ayr Creek, as well as tourists.
Mr Evans – along with concerned residents Richard Arnold and Gary Tayler – suggested re-establishing the flow of Ayr Creek to the ocean and backfilling in the low lying areas would provide a permanent solution.
This is a solution they have discussed with contractors.
Bass Coast Shire Council voted in favour of taking action on Inverloch’s Ayr Creek on Wednesday, November 21.
Council agreed to improve the riparian revegetation along Ayr Creek, investigate water sensitive urban design solutions for consideration in the 2019-20 budget and monitor water quality for blue green algae.
It will establish a contingency plan to decrease odour will also be established. Council agreed to spend $30,000 to remove the algal mats from Ayr Creek, if required.
Cr Julian Brown said there was no silver bullet and this was the route council had to take.
“We need to look at more than one solution. I am happy to support this and do something practical so we can see results,” he said.
Cr Les Larke agreed with residents that protecting public health and safety is paramount.
“Our community and visitors are exposed and that should be a primary governance responsibility of council,” he said.
Mr Arnold said something needed to be done to allow people to use the new infrastructure in the area.
“We have tourists on our new pedestrian bridge breathing in odours,” he said.
“We have our new toilet block, footpath and car park – which is a fabulous set up – but you can’t step onto the sand. There is a black ooze slime at the bottom of the steps and unless you walk through that, you can’t reach the beach.
“If you do find a clear area to walk, you have to be careful as it is slippery under the sand.”
Mr Arnold said the food chain was also deeply affected by the condition of Ayr Creek.
Birds cannot eat the offcuts of fish due to contamination.
The hooded plovers have left the area due to the formation of sand dunes. The plovers will only nest on levelled sand because they are unable to see predators around slopes.
Mr Tayler seconded Mr Arnold’s concerns, recalling a similar situation in Metung where fisherman were warned not to leave fish offcuts on the beach due to contamination.
Mr Evans said he believed the presented solution would be the most effective.
“We know no one wants a repeat of last year so it is critical that areas of responsibility are accepted and appropriate action is taken,” he said.

Stairs to nowhere: Inverloch’s Richard Arnold, Gary Tayler, Peter Jaspers and Keith Cousens show the lack of access to the beach due to the algae issues in Ayr Creek.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=26729

Posted by on Nov 27 2018. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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