A petition to the State Government has been set up to stop Sunshine Coast Council dumping PFAS-contaminated water into the ocean. Photo: Mike Marshall
A petition to the State Government has been set up to stop Sunshine Coast Council dumping PFAS-contaminated water into the ocean. Photo: Mike Marshall

'Enough is enough': 15,000 sign PFAS petitions

A SPEAR fisher who has collected more than 15,000 signatures opposing ocean discharge of PFAS-contaminated water from the airport construction site has been left wondering what it would take to get politicians at any level to pay attention.

Joel Saunders of Bli Bli said he was not a greenie but thought it was time people needed to be smart about protecting the planet.

He started a Change.org petition that attracted 11,600 signatures opposed to the Sunshine Coast Council ocean discharged decision.

However, because it didn't fit the designated format, Mr Saunders said none of the Sunshine Coast politicians he approached was prepared to table it in parliament.

Another petition he launched that fit the format has attracted 3498 signatures since September 24 ahead of its October 13 deadline.

A petition to the State Government has been set up to stop Sunshine Coast Council dumping PFAS-contaminated water into the ocean. Photo: Mike Marshall
A petition to the State Government has been set up to stop Sunshine Coast Council dumping PFAS-contaminated water into the ocean. Photo: Mike Marshall Mike Marshall Film

 

Mr Saunders said although it fell short of the 10,000 required for it to be automatically tabled, he remained hopeful a local politician would bring it to the attention of parliament.

He said given the number of signatures collected, the issue should have attracted someone's attention.

"It doesn't matter how small the concentrations, it builds up in fish over time," Mr Saunders said.

"I think we need to be smart about protecting the planet for our kids and their kids.

"How much do we value future generations?

"Anything as poisonous as that you don't put in the water at any levels.

"When do we call quits and say enough is enough?"

The petition calls for further research and investigation and for alternative solutions to be pursued.

"There is worldwide concern about PFAS, being bio-accumulative and toxic and international debate to phase out the use of PFAS due to unacceptable risk to human health and the environment," it said.

"The residents of the Sunshine Coast urge another solution and to consider the short term and long-term ramifications to our tourism, fishing, waterways, environment and ultimately the health risks to the residents of the Sunshine Coast."

Levi Allan, who has promoted the petition online, said he had been promoting them on Instagram "like crazy" over the past few days before the petition closed with the tag @sunshinecoastcouncil.

He said the posts had been shared on other people's Instagram stories and Facebook, resulting in him being blocked on Instagram by the council.

Sunshine Coast Council has dismissed as minute the potential impact of the discharge which has been supported by the State Government's Department of Environment and Science.

The council, in statements, has claimed the amount of PFAS in the water would be an amount capable of fitting under a fingernail.

It says the cost of building the pipeline would be $2.5 million.

It would run under the David Low Way and 400m to sea and would be removed as soon as the runway construction was completed.