Gympie councillors have called for a detailed environmental report before allowing any further development work on the Retort House site near Lake Alford.
Gympie councillors have called for a detailed environmental report before allowing any further development work on the Retort House site near Lake Alford. Renee Pilcher

Eco planning needed at Lake Alford

DETAILED environmental planning will be needed to address serious toxic pollution problems at Lake Alford and upstream, Gympie Regional councillors were told on Tuesday.

Councillors at their Works and Services Committee meeting formally received a letter from the Gympie and District Historical Society seeking permission to conduct further work on the old Scottish Mine Retort House, just across Brisbane Road from Lake Alford.

Amid long-standing concerns of toxic pollution affecting the park and lakes, as a result of the area’s historically significant use for gold mining and extraction work, councillors decided they need to do some more planning before allowing any further work on the building or before complying with the historical society’s other request for a lease over the site.

A report to the meeting said that while it was possible “to have some development of the nature that (the historical society) desires and to maintain council control of the reserve to best protect council interests and Lake Alford, and to allow for a semi-natural style reserve that will have improved environmental outcomes and additional recreational values for the community”.

However the report added: “Any works or developments undertaken by (the society) or any other community groups should be approved only following assessment with the overall management of the reserve and the downstream Lake Alford recreational area”.

The report acknowledged that “poor storm water management on sites upstream of Lake Alford will continue to cause water quality issues within the park’s water bodies and may put at risk considerable council and community resources invested in this important and valuable community asset”.

The committee opted to recommend that council develop a management plan for the Scottish Mine reserve, “prior to any further works being undertaken or any leases are approved”.

Gympie Times


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