Bonny Hills community meeting called regarding water release into Duchess Creek

Rainbow Beach at Bonny Hills
Rainbow Beach at Bonny Hills

A public meeting will be held by the community of Bonny Hills and Lake Cathie at the Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club commencing at 6pm on January 27.

As a result of recent rainfall, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council with approval by EPA, released treated wastewater from the Bonny Hills/Lake Cathie Wastewater Treatment Plant into Duchess Creek which flows directly into Rainbow Beach.

Meeting organisers allege treated sewage was released into Duchess Creek when it should not have been.

"No sewage release into Duchess Creek should occur at any time - and most certainly not in the middle of school holidays. Such reckless action, endangering the health of locals and visitors alike, should not be tolerated by this community," a meeting spokesperson said.

"In Boxing Day 2017 sewage spilled into Rainbow Beach and as a result of this event, the community held council to account at a public meeting held at Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club on April 16, 2018.

"As a result of this meeting, PMHC committed to undertake drainage and sewerage works, which resulted in stormwater and drainage work being undertaken on Ocean Drive.

"This work was supposed to stop rainwater run-off entering the sewerage system and raw sewage entering Saltwater Creek and then on to Rainbow Beach.

"After the recent rainfall, raw sewage entered Saltwater Creek and flowed onto Rainbow Beach. The community has current video footage proof of this fact.

"Fecal coliform tests for the period up to January 8 and after the release are expected to be presented by the EPA/PMHC before the meeting."

Mayor Peta Pinson and relevant staff are invited to attend the meeting, as is the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The meeting is expected to be chaired by John Drinan of the Bonny Hills Progress Association. All parties will have the opportunity to speak to the PMHC/EPA and the community of Bonny Hills/Lake Cathie, COVID-19 protocols to apply.

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