The Guardian May 10, 2000


Save Our Gulf Campaign:
Barcoo Outlet pollution

Around 300 residents attended a recent public meeting opposing the 
construction of a sewage and stormwater outlet at West Beach on South 
Australia's Gulf St Vincent. John Olsen's Government has let the contract 
for the construction of Barcoo Outlet. This will go down in history as one 
of the worst cases of government-backed environmental vandalism on the Gulf 
and beaches, said local action group Henley and Grange Residents' 
Association (HGRA), organisers of the Save Our Gulf Campaign.

The Barcoo Outlet will carry filthy stormwater and sewerage effluent 
directly into the Gulf, leading to clouded water, high nutrient levels and 
the destruction of the marine ecosystem.

SA Water already discharges sewage into the Sturt Creek at Heathfield which 
then flows into the Gulf. The Government refuses to spend the money to stop 
this pollution.

"This muck, once discharged out to sea, will be harmful to marine life and 
dangerous to beach users", said the HGRA.

The group said the increased pollution would have other risks: dieback of 
seagrass because of the higher nutrient loads and light reduction, which 
would lead to an unstable seabed and more coastal erosion.

The Barcoo Outlet will take pollution that is currently being dumped in the 
ocean at Glenelg and dump it in the ocean at West Beach, at a cost of $17 
million to the public purse.

This is so a marina and artificial swimming area can be constructed at 
Glenelg.

The HGRA said spending nearly $17 million to divert this filth into the 
Gulf was madness. The money would be better spent on cleaning the waterways 
and stopping the pollution upstream.

The HGRA said the Barcoo Outlet must be stopped, but the SA Government 
intends to start construction soon without considering a number of relevant 
reports, including the Senate Inquiry into the Gulf St Vincent and the 
Environment Protection Authority's investigation of coastal waters.

The HGRA said anyone wishing to support the Save Our Gulf Campaign could 
write a letter to the Government asking for the $17 million to spent on 
cleaning up the water catchment areas into the Gulf.

Write c/- Parliament House, North Tce, Adelaide, to 
Dr Armitage  Minister for Government Enterprises;
Mr John Olsen  Premier;
Mr Mark Brindal  Minister for Water Resources;
Mr Iain Evan  Minister for the Environment.

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