Anna Bay Drainage Woes

A flooded wetland reserve at Anna Bay.

 

WHILE the community is dealing with the cleanup after the recent weather event it appears that perhaps some of the flooding could possibly have been avoided.

A source told News Of The Area, “Back in 1990 Port Stephens Council installed a pipeline and a pump to pump water away from Anna Bay residences, but that the pump was never commissioned.

“In years gone by there was a drainage committee which residents paid a levy too which enabled the drains to be cleared annually.”

The flood water was originally destined for Taylors Beach.

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However it was the source’s understanding, “That due to concerns from the Department of Primary Industries around releasing acid sulphates into the environment that this practice was stopped.”

There are also community concerns that the water which ended up being pumped into the duck pond opposite Anna Bay Public School during the clean up from the March weather event was possibly contaminated with septic waste.

One thing is certain, Anna Bay is subject to flooding and the community would like a working solution as they anticipate more regular severe weather events attached to global warming.

A council spokesperson told News Of The Area, “Council did build a pump station during this time period (1990’s).

“The important thing to remember is that no infrastructure is designed to cater for or is able to cope with the size of storm we had and the amount of rain we sustained in Nelson Bay back in March.

“The Anna Bay Drainage Union is a NSW State Government organisation that is still active and undertakes maintenance on their drains.

“Council contributes to the levy they charge to allow us to discharge into their drains,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile there is a DA currently open for comment to build what has been described as an Eco-Tourism Resort on a wetland at Anna Bay and many locals are fearful of the potential for an environmental disaster and black water events for the adjacent Marine Park in the event of future flooding.

This is the second time the developer has put in a DA for the site with the first DA rejected by the NSW Government.

You can comment on “The Bay Resort” development at the NSW Government Planning Portal, comments close on 20 May, 2021.

With Port Stephens Council having spent a small fortune on legal fees and remediation at Lagoons Estate many are wondering if we can learn from these problems before we once again build on land which is not suitable.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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