Council airport water release update at odds with community expectations

26 September 2019 - JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT

The keenly anticipated update of the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project Water Release fact sheet is cause for great disappointment for the six community groups who organised a public information meeting on September 10th in Maroochydore attended by over 300 people.

This updated fact sheet appeared unannounced on the project website on Wednesday 18th September with very few land-based options and an obvious lack of supporting information on options despite this being a clear request of the organisers and hundreds of community members who attended and responded through other means.

Most disappointing to the community organisations is the fact that the ocean discharge still appears as the most preferred of the fifteen options offered.

Coolum and North Shore Coast Care, Mudjimba Boardriders, Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast, Marcoola Community Group, Sunshine Coast Environment Council and OSCAR collectively renew the call for the Sunshine Coast Council to listen to the strong prevailing sentiment of the community to deal with this environmental, economic and social challenge in a more sustainable, respectful and  transparent way.

The consortium find it unacceptable that the Council chooses to ignore a broad cross section of community voters by not adequately considering land-based options of disposal in this dry season, despite the commitment by Councillor Jason O’Pray on the night that this would be pursued.

Options including the transfer of water to the Maroochy Golf Course and the nearby canefields could be achieved with appropriate negotiation, management and modest expense comparable to that of the ocean discharge.

That the PFAS levels are reportedly extremely low at four parts per trillion should mean there is very little need for risk assessment for its land-based use with the suite of options available able to deal with the remaining volume in a timely fashion without discharging to the ocean at Marcoola.

While disclosure of the full report upon which the Councillors based their original decision is currently being sought, the consortium of groups will continue to press for sustainable alternatives to deal with the remaining ponded water.

See Council's updated information and fact here



Media contacts:

Surfrider Sunshine Coast, Steve James:  0403 821 968
Sunshine Coast Environment Council, Narelle McCarthy: 0424 465 487