The Tasmanian Conservation Trust and Re Imagine The End have joined forces to condemn the Clarence City Council's approval of the Arm End Reserve effluent pipeline.
Last Monday (4 February 2019) the Clarence City Council voted in favour of the water pipeline that is proposed to bring treated effluent from the Blackman's Bay sewerage treatment plant to Arm End Nature Recreation Area to irrigate a proposed golf course.
- The TCT and RITE are most concerned about impacts on the spotted handfish and restriction to public access to Arm End Reserve.
- The proponent proposes to drill under the bed of the Halfmoon Bay at South Arm to install the pipeline, going underneath a population of the endangered spotted handfish.
- The TCT has written to the Federal Government asking them to intervene to protect the spotted handfish.
- The effluent is proposed to be used to irrigate the long delayed (first permitted in March 2013) Arm End golf course fairways which the proponent's consultants said was 40 per cent of the 116 hectare reserve. Some of the existing and proposed new walking tracks go though the planned fairways.
- The consultants also said that public access to irrigated areas may need to be prohibited between 10pm and 6am and golf course workers would need regular Hepatitis A and B vaccinations. Walkers would need to be prepared to risk getting sprayed by the effluent if they want to continue walking in the Reserve.
RITE Founder, Robyn McNicol said: "The Council received flawed advice from their planners about the risk to human health and the impact on public access.“
"The Council decision will now mean that if the golf course goes ahead the reserve will have to be closed to protect visitors from the risk of contracting Hepatitis A and B and other diseases. Closing access only to areas that are irrigated, as proposed by the proponent, is bad enough but it will not safeguard the public so the entire reserve will have to be closed for 8 hours each day.”
"Closing a Public reserve to the community, the owners of this reserve is not fair and reasonable and it contradicts the existing permit for the golf course which requires public access to be guaranteed at all times."
"Although we would prefer there to be no golf course the Council should have required the irrigation to be entirely underground or the water treated to a safe level."
“The pipeline puts the health and safety of the South Arm Peninsula community at risk when its being constructed and when it is in operation”
“RITE has an alternative vision for Arm End Reserve, one which respects and protects the aboriginal cultural landscape, historical and natural heritage. We think this place is of state significance and should be a cultural coastal walking destination for the people of Hobart and Tasmania and visitors from interstate and overseas”
The TCT Director Peter McGlone said: "The Council has approved drilling for the pipeline underneath the handfish population during breeding season and if drilling penetrates the bed of the bay it could destroy the handfish eggs.
"The only constraint on the developer is that pipeline construction is to be timed to "minimise risk to Spotted Handfish breeding".
"The developer is left to decide what "minimise" means and they could be drilling during most of the breeding season which is just pathetic."
"The Council should have prohibited all drilling during the short breeding season (September to October). Drilling outside of breeding can also kill and injure handfish and damage habitat and Council should have required precautions to be take to limit this risk such as having video or diver monitoring during drilling."
"The Council also ignored the risk of noise, vibrations and the pipeline bursting."
"Extra protection for the handfish could be easily applied by the developer."
"Because the Clarence Council have failed in their duty to protect this endangered species we have been forced to ask the Federal Government to intervene."
Tasmanian Conservation Trust
Re Imagine The End