Aerial footage of Lake Alford taken on December 12, 2019 which shows some of the lake polluted. Photo: Philippe Coquerand
Aerial footage of Lake Alford taken on December 12, 2019 which shows some of the lake polluted. Photo: Philippe Coquerand

Something in the water stinks at Lake Alford...

GYMPIE Regional Council says it is "aware" of low water levels and pungent odours at the treasured Lake Alford site as the effects of drought are felt all over the region.

"Several" comments from community members in recent times pointed out the water levels at the Duck Ponds were "getting very low and smelly", raising further concerns about the "abundance of wildlife" relying on the water in the recently-declared drought conditions.

Aerial footage of Lake Alford which was taken on December 12, 2019. Locals have raised concerns with council that the lake is drying up. Photo: Philippe Coquerand
Aerial footage of Lake Alford which was taken on December 12, 2019. Locals have raised concerns with council that the lake is drying up. Photo: Philippe Coquerand

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The Gympie region and Sunshine Coast council areas announced as two of eight across Southeast Queensland to be officially drought declared on Monday.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said he had accepted the recommendations put to him by the relevant local drought committees based on significant lack of rain, depleted pasture reserves and escalating concerns about agricultural water supply.

"Local drought committees usually meet at the end of the wet season in April, but due to the deteriorating conditions since then, these committees decided to recommend the areas be drought declared from 1 December," Mr Furner said.

The depleted conditions had not scared any visitors away yesterday, though the water appeared still and visibly short of its banks in some places.

An obvious stench was also detected in some places along the water's edge.

A spokesman for the council said it recognised water levels were depleted at the popular tourist site.

Aerial footage of Lake Alford showing the polluted sections of the lake. Photo: Philippe Coquerand
Aerial footage of Lake Alford showing the polluted sections of the lake. Photo: Philippe Coquerand

"Gympie Regional Council is aware of the low water level at Lake Alford. This is due to the lack of rain at Lake Alford and at its catchments," the spokesman said.

"Council has not received any direct complaints regarding smell or dead wildlife, however council is aware that during times of low water levels it is not unusual for the area to give off a smell consistent with algae or aquatic vegetation."

The spokesman flagged a strategy to mitigate the odour would be addressed in the new year.

"Due to the low water level, Council is waiting on a specialised piece of machinery which will harvest the aquatic weeds, subsequently reducing the smell.

"It is anticipated this will happen early in the new year.

"Council continues to closely monitor the water level and wildlife in and around Lake Alford," the spokesman said.

Lake Alford boasts a 4.5 star average rating from 49 reviews on TripAdvisor, and is described as a park with "wonderful facilities" and "an abundance of bird life" on the Destination Gympie Region website.

Gympie Times


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