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Banora Point waterway choked with weeds again

LAKE CONCERNS: Morgan and Abi Cush sit by one of the weed-choked waterways in Banora Point.
LAKE CONCERNS: Morgan and Abi Cush sit by one of the weed-choked waterways in Banora Point. Scott Davis

THE waterways of Banora Point's Vintage Lakes area is usually brimming with life, but the hot weather of late as seen a renewed bloom of aquatic weeds.

Among those calling for a permanent fix are sisters Abi and Morgan Cush, who often enjoy kayaking in the lake near their home.

In its current state they are unable to do this, while residents have been avoiding walking through the network of tracks along the lakes and canals.

"Nobody walks their dogs around here anymore because it stinks,” Abi said.

Her dad, Chris, said the impact on wildlife in the area was also a big concern along with the "toxic” smell of rotting weeds.

He hoped the extra $300,000 Tweed Shire Council committed to fixing the issue in November - which brings the total spend to $750,000 - would lead to a more long-term solution than the recent weed harvesting.

Fellow resident David Nelson said there specifically concerns for a small population of Comb-crested Jacana, a bird listed as vulnerable.

Mr Nelson said the process of removing the invasive salvinia and cabomba weeds from the surface of the lake was like "giving the grass a cut” and "not really going to the source of the problem”.

Chris Cush stands near one of the Lakes in the Banora Point region, which have become polluted or are infested with weeds.
Chris Cush stands near one of the Lakes in the Banora Point region, which have become polluted or are infested with weeds. Scott Davis

While he said the council did a "wonderful job”, Mr Nelson was concerned the lake could become a "sludgy health hazard”.

Councillor Warren Polglase, who lives near one of the affected lakes, believed the extra funds would go some way to fixing the issue, but said the recent hot warm contributed to the growth.

When the council voted to boost funding to fix the problem in November, mayor Katie Milne said the Western Drainage Scheme which comprises and open-channel stormwater system between Lochlomond Drive in the south, Trutes Bay in the west and Shallow Bay in the east, had been "deteriorating over the years”.

The system was constructed to allow for the development of Banora Point west of Darlington Drive.

Chris Cush with daughters Morgan and Abi, stand near one of the Lakes in the Banora Point region, which have become polluted or are infested with weeds.
Chris Cush with daughters Morgan and Abi, stand near one of the Lakes in the Banora Point region, which have become polluted or are infested with weeds. Scott Davis

Along with extra weed harvesting, Cr Milne said extra trees would be planted to help lower water temperatures.

A Tweed Shire Council spokeswoman said staff would remove the piles of dead weeds which were raked from the a grate on the lake by an elderly resident.

"Due to the recent northerly winds, surface salvinia weed has shifted to the southern part of the lake but is not considered to be a significant issue at this time,” she said.

She said council staff had visited the site on Wednesday morning and found "no issues requiring an urgent response” and were not aware of any mass fish kills.

The council was compelled to respond to an incident in April 2016 during which thousands of fish died, along with some birds and turtles.

The spokeswoman said the council would schedule another weed harvest later this month or in February.

Topics:  banora point banora point drainage scheme banora point waterways estuaries tweed shire council western drainage scheme



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