Full article published by the Coffs Coast Advocate on 08/09/2018.
Republished here as a community service so locals can better understand, review and consider the water crisis on the Coffs Coast: (emphasis ours)
FEARS OF Farming FALLOUT
ALARMING environmental research results have renewed calls for urgent reforms to the blueberry industry.
The local industry, the state’s largest blueberry growing region, has seen rapid growth in recent years, but it remains largely unregulated.
Due to water quality concerns Coffs Harbour City Council commissioned the research, which has detected highly elevated levels of nutrients flowing into Hearnes Lake.
The study found levels of phosphorous, a component of fertiliser, had risen dramatically since the expansion of the industry on the Northern Beaches. It also found large volumes of nitrogen are carried from farms to local waterways and the ocean.
The levels found were some of the highest ever recorded on the east coast and are similar to results from heavily polluted estuaries overseas.
The findings come as Boambee residents band together to fight a proposed blueberry farm in their neighbourhood.
It’s the first time a blueberry farm has been proposed for a residential area and a development application is currently before the council.