Over 100 demonstrators turned up to Catherine Hill Bay yesterday to protest a scheme that will end with waste treatment being pumped into Catherine Hill Beach Lagoon. The water reaches the beach at high-tide, bringing the waste across the sand where the public plays, swims, surfs and fishes from.
The demonstration was called by the Catherine Hill Bay Boardrider's Club, who are very concerned about the negative effects of pumping waste onto the beach could have. It was attended by the Catherine Hill Bay Boardrider's Club president Mick McCall, Labour's Swansea MP Yasmin Catley and Catherine Hill Bay Progress Association president Sue Whyte.
Currently, the waste treatment surrounds the plant just to the South of Catherine Hill Bay, near Moonee Beach. With the treated water going into the lagoon instead, it will leave a developable space for Rose Group to build beach houses looking out over Moonee Beach.
Rose Group has selected the Far North Coast company Solo Water Utility Solutions to conduct the project. It was Solo Water Utility Solutions who came up with the lagoon concept to begin with.
Solo Water says the new plan will be cleaner and more ecologically viable for the community and ecosystem than the current waste treatment solution, but the Catherine Hill Bay locals strongly dispute this.
Sue Whyte says the allegations by Solo that the water is currently more polluted than it will be after the project is "totally incorrect" and it's "trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes".
Sue also says the scientific data collected is dodgy at best. "They've used rainfall stats from Williamtown," she says. "You may as well use them from Sydney." She also claims Solo Water used old data from a different creek altogether.
The Council has condemned the project and the EPA has said it poses "unacceptable risks".
There is not yet a public statement about the date on which production will begin but the project has not been halted.
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