CHEMICAL TESTING:  Gold Coast Airport conducting a training exercise extinguishing a burning plane. Chemicals used in the process have since been found to be carcinogenic.
CHEMICAL TESTING: Gold Coast Airport conducting a training exercise extinguishing a burning plane. Chemicals used in the process have since been found to be carcinogenic.

Call for wider sampling at Gold Coast Airport

PLANS for selective testing of groundwater in and adjacent to the Gold Coast Airport for chemical contamination have failed to placate concerns of community groups and residents.

In a statement provided to McPherson MP Karen Andrews, Airservices Australia has indicated that a draft Sampling Analysis and Quality Plan (SAQP) and draft Stakeholder Communications and Consultation Brief (SCCB) for further groundwater investigations at the Gold Coast Airport have been sent to the Queensland Government on May 31 for their input.

The activities of the SAQP would include:

●sampling of groundwater from serviceable spear bores on 18 properties;

● surface water and sediment sampling at 10 locations in Coolangatta Creek; and

● the installation of and sampling at new groundwater wells at the airport and repeat sampling at some groundwater wells at the airport.

The sampling of 18 properties will be from a selection of properties adjacent to the airport on Adina Ave, Bilinga.

Once all comments have been received, Airservices would finalise the SAQP and SCCB and sampling at selected properties would commence.

Communication with selected properties/residents for the sampling was expected to begin at the end of this month and the sampling was expected to then commence.

Airservices had said that comments on the draft SAQP had been received from Queensland agencies but it was still awaiting feedback on the SCCB.

However long-term Tugun resident and founding member of Friends of Currumbin, Wilf Ardell said news of testing of chemical contamination sites was "far too limited” and needed to be expanded.

"Testing alongside the airport and in Coolangatta Creek would not provide a true indication as to how far any chemical contamination may have migrated,” Mr Ardell said.

"Any sampling regimen needs to be spread across the broad Tugun- Bilinga community, even taking in the source of Coolangatta Creek to give an accurate indication of just where these chemical may have spread.

"I have spoken with a lot of residents and none of us have had anything in our letter boxes regarding this issue, event though we where assured information would be provided.

"I am very surprised at the silence of Queensland Health and the federal Health Department on this issue.”

Friends of Currumbin secretary Gloria Baker said that discussion with other community groups such as the Tugun Progress Association and Bilinga to the Border, whose members reside in the suburbs adjacent to the airport have not yet been contacted to confirm arrangements for testing of spear pumps.

"The lack of information being given to residents is very concerning and it raises the question as to why state and federal departments haven't fulfilled obligations they said they would at previous community meetings,” Ms Baker said.

"At the very least, the Queensland Government should ensure that all residents on the southern Gold Coast should at least be sent, in printed form, the information of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

"What residents want to know is just how far any possible chemical contamination has spread and to what extent.

"Testing in areas close to the airport won't ease concerns but just confirm what many people already suspect.”



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