Residents fight sewage plan
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Gold Coast residents rallied at Southport on August 4 against a decision by the Gold Coast City and Albert Shire councils to pump 60 million litres of treated sewage effluent off the Southport Seaway.
In the biggest rally ever held on the coast, some 5000 protesters angrily heckled Gold Coast Mayor Lex Bell and Albert Shire chairperson Bill Laver as they tried to justify the sewage plan.
Placards and banners drew attention to the horrors of sewage pollution at Sydney's Bondi Beach. Leading "Iron Man" Trevor Hendy was cheered as he compared the councils' plans to the "stinking, foul and unhealthy" beach at Bondi.
Charges and counter-charges flew between the councillors and state environment minister Pat Comben over the viability of an alternative plan to pump huge quantities of tertiary effluent into Tallebudgera Creek — a plan rejected by the minister.
Comben claimed the councils had twice failed to come up with an acceptable alternative arrangement to the construction of a pipeline between Elanora and the Southport Spit.
Alderman Bell said the $23 million pipeline had now "gone too far" to stop and was more than half completed, with the remainder under contract. n