Anembo Lake dredging hinges on council vote
HERVEY Bay's Anembo Lake could be dredged in a bid to improve long-term water quality in the region's waterways, but it hinges on the outcome of a council vote.
Documents from the Fraser Coast Regional Council reveal a proposal to remove money allocated for the dredging of parts of the Anembo lakes to improve water flows in the area, following environmental assessments dating back to 2013.
But council documents claim dredging "is not necessary at this time" and the funding allocation would be redirected to another project.
The dredging plan would be then need to be funded through the upcoming 2018-19 budget.
Councillors will vote on the proposal at Wednesday's meeting.
Acting mayor George Seymour said the waterway needed to be deepened to improve its water quality.
He said over the past four years, there had been at least three major fish kills in the Anembo Lake because of its dwindling quality.
"Part of the issue is that it's so shallow that it heats up, de-oxygenating the water and causing fish kills," Cr Seymour said.
"Dredging the lake would be more beneficial to the aquatic life living there."
Cr Seymour said he had been speaking to residents for years about the water quality, saying this was the "next step" in improving the region's waterways.
"We have allocated money for the project, and I'd like to see it spent on that," he said.
While no "immediate concern" for water quality was raised from environmental assessments, council documents reveal water levels and plant growth "have varied over the last several years."
"(It is) in response to natural fluctuations from rainfall, prolonged dry periods followed by recent significant rain events, varying seasonal temperatures, residential runoff, and other urban and environmental factors," the documents state.
"Due to the short duration of the monitoring program in 2013, limited data preclude the drawing of firm conclusions," the documents read.
"The study did conclude that the water in the lagoons is impacted by urban runoff and avifauna but was relatively clear with little contamination."
About $50,000 of discretionary funding from the budget has been allocated for dredging.
No start date has been set for the works.