Incredulous at spill
Isn't it incredulous that the BVSC et al are now amazed that the recent heavy rainfall has caused leachate to flow into Wolumla Creek/Bega River! For god's sake, the monstrosity was built only some 600 metres uphill from the most important freshwater course in the Valley! What did they expect?
I can clearly remember our very real concerns being quickly dismissed and told by those in power that the site had been meticulously designed to prevent leachate escape. The huge leachate storage dams were, after all, the size of 10 Olympic swimming pools and could easily retain water from a "one in 25 year" rainfall event. What they didn't allow for was two such events happening sequentially. So much for mitigation plans!
We implored them, over and over, not to develop the facility on the edge of our most valuable watercourse, and questioned their idea that a massive dam system would solve all the problems. The concept that the more leachate stored on the cusp of the Bega River would only magnify the risks of a major disaster, when the overflow occurred, was simply ignored!
And now it's unbelievable that the terms "significant rainfall events", "due diligence", "downstream customers", "daily monitoring", "testing" and "diluted" are being bandied around like nobody's business. But we can draw some comfort from the knowledge that "the leachate is likely to be highly diluted" and "the EPA is carefully reviewing the CWF's operational capacity to manage leachate to ensure that it meets the standards prescribed by the environment protection licence". And we won't know the full extent of the poisoning for another "two to three weeks"!
Why would anybody build a tip on the edge of a river?
Ian Gordon, Toothdale
Protect the vulnerable
It is sad when residents of regional towns see the landscapes they love taken over by development. Local councils sometimes focus on the extra rates. The local residents such as Friends of Glebe Wetlands who have over the years cared for Glebe Lagoon, its 18 species of waterbirds and grey-headed flying-fox nursery, are the most affected (BDN, 14/5).
On World Wildlife Day this year, Environment Minister Sussan Ley announced that another dozen Australian animals had been declared extinct. The main causes of extinction are feral animals, habitat loss and climate change. As Lea Pinker made clear in her letter, the grey-headed flying-fox plays a key role in the Australian ecosystem and is already declared 'vulnerable', the category down from 'endangered'.
The Bendigo Council in Victoria has recently moved to strengthen protection for its flying-fox nursery and has committed substantial funds. The Shoalhaven City Council has been offered a seven-figure sum by the NSW government to save a bush block designated for development at Manyana.
At the very least, the majority of the mature trees on the proposed estate should be preserved, but this is not possible in the current design. NSW planning law allows councils to "identify areas that are not appropriate for significant housing growth, such as areas constrained by environmental factors or natural hazards, or with significant heritage value."
It seems the proposed estate on the land adjoining Glebe Lagoon should fall within that definition.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Vic
Airport runway extension
Long overdue. Merimbula and surrounding areas need this to happen. - Helen Ingram
Let's hope that the rest of the amenities are upgraded too, like parking and security. - Mike Long
Can we make it an extra lane wide and have 1/8 Mile drag races there? - Luke Bajjada