Media Release

Critical Beach Report Dumped

25/02/2008 11:00 am

Greens MLC Mark Parnell has slammed the timing of the release of a CSIRO Report into the health of Adelaide’s beaches that had previously sat on Environment Minister Gail Gago's desk since November last year.

The Adelaide Coastal Waters Study, six years in the making, and costing over $3 million, was released late on the eve of the Clipsal 500 weekend without fanfare and without any commitment from the Government to act. It calls for a radical reduction in the amount of nutrients and other materials in wastewater and stormwater dumped off Adelaide’s beaches, particularly from SA Water.

“This was absolutely disgraceful timing: late on a Friday and under the cover of a major sports event. It seems very clear the Government has every intention to shelve this report and downplay its findings,” Mr Parnell said.

“That’s 3 million dollars and six years work by top scientists literally down the drain.

“The best the Government can commit to is to ‘form a committee’. They’ve had 6 years to form a committee, and the report has been sitting on the Minister’s desk since November. Yet, the Report couldn’t be clearer: we need to stop dumping waste water off Adelaide’s beaches. With the announcement on Friday by Penrice Soda to start cleaning up their act, it leaves SA Water out like a shag on a rock as the single biggest cause, by far, of the damage to our sea grasses,” he said.

Mark Parnell had previously obtained a copy of the CSIRO Study under Freedom of Information after becoming concerned at delays in the report’s release.

“Two weeks ago I went public with my concerns about the delay in the Report’s release. It seems my concerns were well and truly justified,” he said.

“In the midst of a water crisis, this Report must not be filed away somewhere and forgotten. The Government must take the findings seriously. Over 5,000 hectares of seagrass has already gone. We have got to start the fightback. Action number one: stop dumping waste water from Bolivar and instead treat it as a resource,” he said.

Earlier media release on the delay in the report's release

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