Thursday, 03 September 2009
Gardiners Creek: contamination
Mr O'BRIEN (Malvern) -- I note with alarm information recently obtained by the coalition showing that the level of E. coli contamination of Gardiners Creek was hundreds of times the recommended safe level. Gardiners Creek forms part of the northern border of my electorate and, as a Yarra River tributary, is one of the area's most significant environmental features.
Gardiners Creek and its surrounding areas host a number of recreational facilities in Stonnington and Boroondara, including children's playgrounds. For reasons of health, safety and environmental protection, it is essential that this waterway be kept clean. Given that E. coli represents faecal contamination and a safe level is 200 organisms or less per 100 millilitres of water, it was shocking to see the results from Melbourne Water's water quality monitoring.
For calendar year 2007 the Gardiners Creek monitoring station at Glenferrie Road recorded a mean reading of 580 organisms -- nearly three times more contamination than what is considered safe. However, the maximum contamination reading was a horrifying 53 000 organisms -- 265 times the safe limit.
This level of E. coli pollution is absolutely unacceptable. The Brumby government has been derelict in its environmental obligations. How can parents feel safe letting their kids play near Gardiners Creek with these levels of contamination? I call on the government to release the 2008 monitoring results and to take immediate action to restore the health of Gardiners Creek before this important part of my electorate's natural environment is irreparably damaged and the health of those who use the creek is compromised.