4WDs damage fragile beaches

DRIVING on beaches and the remediation of the old antimony processing plant at Urunga were two aspects of the Shire's annual State of the Environment Report that drew councillor comment.

Cr Sean Tuohy said driving on beaches and the effect this had on the beach ecosystem was little understood and one that fell through the cracks.

"We talk of sea grass beds but our policy about beach driving is very weak," Mr Tuohy said.

He said the recent ban on pippi collection showed that driving on beaches did have consequences.

"I would like to know what research there is and what implications this has for our policy."

Cr Kerry Child wanted to know what the options were for the removal of contaminated material at Urunga.

The council's director of environment, Charlie Hannavy, said the Urunga site was known to be one of the most contaminated in NSW but funding of the remediation work had never been secured.

"In recent times the NSW Government has carried out some initial remediation… visible waste materials have been removed and transferred to Newcastle however the issue of the toxins still remains," Mr Hannavy said.

The general manager, Liz Jeremy, said the Department of Environment and Climate Change had been investigating collaborations with other departments.

"These investigations have led to some options and current discussions are looking at ways to resolve the issue," Mrs Jeremy said.

She said timelines would be provided as soon as they were available.

The councillors voted to adopt the report for submission to the State Government.

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