Qld Greens candidates say enough is enough for Oxley Creek

Three Queensland Greens candidates whose electorates border Oxley Creek have called for on the ground works to finally begin healing Oxley Creek.

Greens candidate for Mt Ommaney Jenny Mulkearns, Greens candidate for Indooroopilly, Charles Worringham and Greens candidate for Yeerongpilly, Libby Connors, canoed a stretch of the creek on Sunday to investigate the sections which border these three electorates.

Jenny Mulkearns pointed out that we now have twelve years of reports from the Healthy Waterways projects.

“For all eight of the years that the Healthy Waterways conducted monitoring and reporting of Oxley Creek as a catchment in its own right it has received a Fail.

“It is time we moved from scientific data collection and analysis to on the ground works to resolve the problems in the catchment.”

Greens candidate for Indooroopilly Charles Worringham said that in 2010 the government had invested in yet another consultants report to provide a plan for healthy waterways by 2026.

“Even this only came about because some of the community groups frustrated by the lack of government action pressed for an implementation plan.

“Well it is now 2012, Oxley Creek is still unfit for recreational use, and we think it is time that both state and local governments stopped abusing the good will of community groups which have put in so much time and effort into re-vegetation of banks and flood plains.”

The candidate for Yeerongpilly, Libby Connors, said that it was urgent that both state and local governments made the data on E.coeli levels and suspended solids in the lower creek publicly available.

“We love the community-government-business partnerships of the healthy waterways and of the Oxley Creek Catchment Association but it means they can only act as advocates and public education centre for the catchment’s creeks.

“The structure is too informal and uncertain.

“The OCCA does not have the resources to upgrade the two sewerage treatment plants or to enforce the law when industries are caught illegally dumping to the creek.

“The Oxley Creek Catchment Association has only a handful of staff who survive through grants and from project to project.”

The Greens released a program for Oxley Creek that would require the state government to:

 

Make all scientific data on Oxley Creek publicly available

Require an annual report card that lists:

  • Investigations of all pollution sources and all actions taken to respond including: engineering works to repair sewerage leaks, upgrade overflowing or mismanaged sewerage treatment plants, installation of security cameras and sensors to detect illegal disposal into drains and creeks, and prosecutions carried out during the year to enforce anti-dumping provisions on individuals and businesses.
  • Relocation of local businesses immediately adjacent to the creek with known history of flooding and significant pollution potential, such as car/scrap metal dealers”  
  • Require local members of the adjoining seats to present the report to parliament.

“We hope the last point would motivate our elected representatives to take responsibility and see that the Department of the Environment and Resource Management did actually start meeting some health waterways objectives,” Jenny Mulkearns said.

“Such a scheme would be more expensive than the almost charitable structure of the OCCA but Oxley Creek keeps failing in terms of public health.

“The government must be grateful no one has so far contracted disease from contact with the water.”

Charles Worringham stated "We would like to congratulate the Biodiversity Services Unit within the Oxley Creek catchment Association for the work they are doing in repairing re-vegetation in this area"

Contacts:
Jenny Mulkearns (Mt Ommaney) 0417 642 224
Charles Worringham (Indooroopilly) 0408 634 486
Libby Connors (Yeerongpilly) 0429 487 110