Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis has written to Brooms Head residents about Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) plan to install a new onsite sewage management system in the frontal sand dune at the Brooms Head Holiday Park
“I’m touching base, further to your contact with my office and your subsequent e-mail, about the proposed onsite sewage management system at Brooms Head…” Mr Gulaptis writes.
“I am very much aware of the concerns of many in the Brooms Head community….
“I can assure you I am following developments closely and I am in regular communication with Council for updates on its plans.”
“The current advice is that Council is still investigating options and has made no binding decisions.”
Mr Gulaptis acknowledged that he has “no power to direct the elected Council how to act”, however, he writes that he has “made it clear to Council that I stand with locals in expecting proper community consultation”.
“My view is that Council should have a ‘social licence’ to proceed with major reforms and that means securing the trust and support of locals for its plans,” he writes.
“My advice to residents who are concerned about these issues is to keep doing what you are doing so effectively right now: raising public awareness of the issue through the local media and in communications with stakeholders.”
Last week, contractors conducted tests at the site.
The Independent asked CVC when it would be conducting its consultation with the community, given it advised residents in a May 11 letter that CVC “has undertaken an analysis and environmental assessment to ascertain the best system and location for the treatment system and the effluent application area” and “come up with 1 (one) viable option for upgrading the system”.
An unnamed spokesperson wrote in an emailed response: “Council has not made any decisions as it is still investigating the most appropriate solution.
“A meeting with community will occur once that is complete.”
CVC’s website has a page dedicated to the proposal, which states that the project is “on schedule” and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2022.
At CVC’s February 2021 meeting, councillors instructed staff to undertake “further information and consultation with adjoining property holders and community … before works proceed to tender and/or construction”, following completion “of the investigations and OSMS [onsite sewage management system] designs”.
Mr Gulaptis signs off his letter: “Thanks for bringing your concerns to my attention and let’s keep the conversation going.”
Last week, contractors drilled test holes on the dune that separates houses from the beach at Brooms Head. Images: Brooms Head community Action Group