Drums of toxic waste dumped in tidal lagoon
AUTHORITIES are working to contain and remove at least eight drums of toxic waste found illegally dumped in a tidal lagoon north of Yeppoon.
On Wednesday Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig said council officers, along with fire and emergency services crews and relevant government authorities, were attempting to minimise threats to the waterway adjacent to Sandy Point Road.
The lagoons in this area are a breeding ground and home to numerous fish species including barramundi and feed into Fishing Creek, Corio Bay and Waterpark Creek.
“The first focus is to secure the drums and do any bunding that we can to prevent any further leakage into the environment,” Cr Ludwig said.
“Then we need to remove the drums and make an assessment of what damage may have occurred.”
A witness said the drums’ contents looked and smelt like paint and thinners.
Cr Ludwig said from briefings he’d received, it appeared the drums contained a flammable material, possibly a resin.
Cr Ludwig said once the drums were removed the focus would then turn to finding the culprits.
“This is part of the marine environment, they are tidal lagoons and there will be some potential impacts on that Fishing Creek network,” he said.
“It is incredibly disappointing that someone would do something this stupid.
“It’s environmental vandalism and once everything is contained council will be looking for any members of the public to come forward to help us find who’s responsible.”
Cr Ludwig said not only was the dumping “appalling” but it was unnecessary.
“It doesn’t need to happen because there are areas at the landfill where chemicals can be taken for disposal.
“Whoever has done this is in breach of state legislation and obviously if they can be identified, they will certainly be facing hefty fines and I’d imagine also be required to contribute to the cost of the clean-up.”
Anyone with information on this incident can contact Livingstone Shire Council on 1300 790 919.
Pollution incidents can be reported to the Queensland Government’s 24/7 pollution hotline - 1300 130 372.
For emergency situations people should call triple zero.