Looking to ensure Noosa waterways more pollution-proof
MOVES to enforce council industrial pollution inspections sparked by stormwater concerns behind the Noosaville industrial estate at Eenie Creek have hit a legal snag.
After it was revealed in council this year that creek outlet readings were 10 times worse than central Sydney, the council investigated ways to reintroduce regular industrial site inspections.
The majority of these for lower risk workshops and batching plants were done away with under the previous Newman Government as part of its green tape reforms. Noosa Council's environmental health department has pushed to amend its local laws so that industrial premises were classified as a prescribed activities requiring council approval to operate.
A report to council said legal advice was that the amendment was "not appropriate” as it may duplicate state planning which was prohibited.
"Given the State Government has already devolved responsibility to council to manage things such as contaminates released into the local water ways under the Environmental Protection Act 2008, the proposed amendment may not pass the state interest test,” the report said.
Instead, council staff will investigate introducing a voluntary inspection program that will rely on the operator's co-operation to be effective. Councillors have been told that the recent investigation of the industrial area found an overall willingness by operators "to be compliant with environmental requirements”.
All premises inspected would be charged a "cost recovery” fee by council. The fate of such a system would be decided after a further report was prepared for council.
And in the wake of the recent Healthy Land and Water report card, Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie said while the A- rating was the highest given to a non-pristine waterway, reducing sediment run-off remained a key challenge," Cr Wilkie said.
"For example, satellite laser analysis has enabled us to understand exactly where millions of cubic metres of soil have been lost from the Kin Kin catchment and washed into the river system and precisely where the restoration work needs to be focused,” Cr Wilkie said.
"This is the essence of the Keep it in Kin Kin project, a partnership between Noosa Parks Association and Landcare and supported by the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation. The council is also working on a whole-of-catchment Noosa River Plan, a draft of which is soon to be presented to the community for comment.”