The Brooms Head Community Action Group (BHCAG) has voiced it concerns about Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) proposal to construct an “onsite sewage management system” within the frontal sand dune above the beach.
Spokesperson, Paul McCrea, said his group had been speaking with and exchanging information with CVC staff for several months about the proposal, however, remained unconvinced that the dune was an appropriate site for the system.
The BHCAG commissioned a study of its own, which concluded: “In summary, on the basis of information currently available, it appears that the proposed site for the new wastewater disposal trench poses significant risks.
“Alternative sites and wastewater treatment designs are strongly recommended.
“It should not proceed until [the] design is checked to be fit-for-purpose, and concerns of potential risks to human health, the environment, geotechnical stability, and neighbouring properties are adequately addressed and independently reviewed.”
The report was written by Wendy Timms, who is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at Deakin University, Victoria, a chartered engineer and outgoing vice president of International Association of Hydrogeologists.
On the other hand, CVC is confident its proposal is sound, writing in an FAQ that the proposal “will meet the guidelines and local government regulations that outline that the treatment must not cause environmental harm or risk to public health”.
The council advised Brooms Head 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”.
Meanwhile, CVC’s acting general manager, Laura Black, has written to Mr McCrea advising that she has met with the relevant staff involved in the project and, in turn, a meeting with concerned residents will be convened at a yet to be advised time.
Mr McCrea said: “We welcome any communication from the council to us, as long as it takes on the concerns of the community, rather than just convincing us that this proposal is the only way to go.”