Further questions about the water quality at Blackmans Bay have frustrated Kingborough residents wondering if they will be able to take to the water this summer of if there will be an ongoing closure over the summer months.
After detection of faecal contamination in the water at the southern end of Blackmans Bay Beach, the area was closed and local residents forced to seek alternative destinations.
Shadow Minister for the Environment, Parks and Heritage, Alison Standen MP launched a petition on Friday, September 27, calling on the State Government to address the ongoing water quality issues at Blackmans Bay Beach.
“The community is frustrated with how long it is taking for this problem to be resolved and is demanding action from this Government,” said Ms Standen.
“They don’t want yet another year of not being able to enjoy their local beach.”
“This petition is calling on the Government to guarantee the water quality at Blackmans Bay (south) and other popular sites for swimming and other water recreation at Kingston Beach and Blackmans Bay.
“It’s also calling on the Government to commit to re-opening Blackmans Bay (south) Beach for swimming by the start of summer.”
Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Dean Winter said that results from the last three months had shown improvement and that weekly updates will be available from council regarding ongoing water testing.
“Kingborough will continue to work collaboratively with TasWater to identify the ongoing issues around Blackmans Bay Beach and the Derwent River,” said Mayor Winter.
A community briefing is intended to be held prior to summer as well as collated data from the ongoing water quality tests.
Ms Standen is urging the State Government to take decisive action at the site regarding the contamination and stormwater quality.
“I have also written to the Government urging it to task and resource the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to take on the role of statewide regulator in water quality issues, including undertaking independent testing of stormwater outflows.
“After two and a half years of extensive testing and ongoing investigations, authorities have not been able to conclusively find the cause of the problems leading to extended closure of Blackmans Bay (south) Beach.
“Will Hodgman and his Liberal Government have been ignoring repeated requests from concerned Kingborough residents for too long,” Ms Standen said.
Chelsea Achilles is just one of many Blackman’s Bay residents who are frustrated by the closure and hoping for more positive results as the warmer weather approaches.
Ms Achilles says she wants to be able to take her two sons, Maximus (4) and Rafael (1), to the family’s favourite local beach.
“We’re an active family and we’re always outdoors,” said Ms Achilles.
“We make use of what’s around us.
“Even in winter time, my four-year-old is off at the beach and loves to go for a swim.”
The Achilles family were among the first to sign the petition by Ms Standen in the hopes that dedicated action will be able to resolve this ongoing issue by summer.
Ms Standen believes that getting the State Government involved is an urgent matter to ensure that residents are satisfied and feel comfortable in taking to the water.
“Tasmanians have a limited window of warm weather to enjoy swimming in our waterways and they deserve to feel safe and confident to do so.
“The Government needs to act with urgency, listen to the community and work with all the stakeholders and get this issue resolved before summer,” concluded Ms Standen.
Pictured above: Shadow Minister for the Environment, Parks and Heritage, Alison Standen MP, pictured with Josh and Chelsea Achilles with their sons Maximus (4) and Rafael (1), at Blackmans Bay Beach as they speak about the ongoing water quality issues and Ms Standen’s petition. (PS)