In­quiry into dead fish claim

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Gizelle Ghidella

THE Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Sci­ence has car­ried out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in the Moss­man River fol­low­ing re­ports of dead fish and sed­i­ment flow­ing near Fox­ton Bridge.

A num­ber of con­cerned res­i­dents re­ported see­ing the river flow­ing black last week, how­ever a Depart­ment spokesman said no con­tam­i­nants were found when of­fi­cers at­tended the site.

“The re­ported im­pacts were in the vicin­ity of ex­ca­va­tion works be­ing un­der­taken un­der a river­ine pro­tec­tion per­mit,” the spokesman said.

“They did not ob­serve the vis­i­ble sed­i­ments or dead fish re­ferred to in the re­port the depart­ment re­ceived. There was no ev­i­dence on the site of the re­lease of other con­tam­i­nants (as a re­sult of the earth­works), such as the dis­tur­bance of acid sul­fate soils or other is­sues that would in­di­cate that any ma­te­rial or se­ri­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal harm had oc­curred.”

The ex­ca­va­tor was con­tracted by Mackay Sugar.

The works were com­pleted last week.

Moss­man Mill man­ager Phil Miskin said it was a sim­ple job lo­cated near a rail­way bridge.

“It was there to re­pair a washout on a river bank cause by the floods from ear­lier in the year,” he said.

“The bank had washed out, it wasn’t a big job, it was just shift­ing some sand.”

A Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil spokesman said they would in­ves­ti­gate any re­ports of po­ten­tial en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts to the Moss­man River.

The depart­ment re­ferred the mat­ter to the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Mines and En­ergy and coun­cil.

The depart­ment also stated there have been no fur­ther re­ports of wa­ter qual­ity im­pacts and fish deaths from the site.

Re­ports of pol­lu­tion events and fish kills can be re­ported to the Depart­ment on 1300 130 372.

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