Port Macquarie Community Success - Whale To Be Exhumed On Monday

22 Sep 2017 1

COASTALWATCH | LATEST NEWS

In news that will come as a great relief to Port Macquarie residents, the Port Macquarie Hastings Shire Council has decided to exhume the whale carcass that was buried this week on Nobby's Beach.

The process will take place on Monday and the carcass – and contaminated sand that surrounds it – will be disposed of away from the ocean.   

This announcement from council is "a real triumph of community energy, civil engagement and basic sanity. This can be a template for other councils up and down the coast in future." Said Nick Carroll. 

The Council released the following response today, "In response to community concerns, the estimated 20 tonne whale carcass and contaminated clay and sand will be removed from the beach and trucked to landfill in a Council-managed operation, working with local contractors. Planning for the operation has included consultation with local community representatives, NSW Department of Industry, Lands and Forestry, NSW Police, the Environment Protection Agency and NSW Fire and Rescue.

“This is going to be a challenging job but Council recognises it is a high priority for many in our community. We will commence work first thing Monday. There are a number of unknowns that will affect the timing of the operation but we expect it will take more than one day to complete,” said Council General Manager, Craig Swift-McNair.

The operation will take place above the high tide mark and additional measures will be taken to ensure the containment of waste away from the water. “Our aim is to get the whale off the beach in the most efficient and safe manner. We know this will be hard and smelly work and I thank those contractors and staff who have agreed to assist,” Mr Swift-McNair said.

“We look forward to re-opening the beach for the enjoyment of recreation users as soon as possible.”

After it was revealed that the whale was buried by the council, the local community united against the actions of the council. They were well represented in a meeting with councillors on Wednesday night where they put forward their concerns and a 2000 strong petition for the removal of the carcass. 

The burying of whales is suspected to have links to an increased shark activity.

Nobby's beach is home to a Surf Life Saving Club, surf school and multiple community activities which would have a potentially damaging summer if the whale carcass remained buried on the beach. 

Port Macquarie beaches will reopen with increased surveillance via drones, jet-skis and helicopters, on Saturday 22 September 2017. Relieved locals commented, "We’ll all look forward to being back in the water this weekend."

Nobby's Beach in Port Macquarie, the site of the buried whale carcass. Photo by Zane Wilson

Nobby's Beach in Port Macquarie, the site of the buried whale carcass. Photo by Zane Wilson

Tags: topnews , whale , port macquarie (create Alert from these tags)

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