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Regional councillor says time for ORC to accept lake woes

Friday 11 November 2016

Regional councillor says time for the ORC to accept lake woes

Otago regional councillor Michael Laws today said that “the inertia and inaction around the growing issues in the great southern lakes continues to mystify residents in our region.”

Cr Laws also rejected a personal attack by ORC chairman Steve Woodhead (broadcast on Radio New Zealand – attached) as “unhelpful. There’s a debate that needs to be had about ORC’s seeming indifference.”


“ Along with thousands of Lakes residents, I’m very concerned that the ORC seems to show no interest in the lake snow (cyclotella) and lagorosiphon invasions of our region’s lakes and waterways.”

“ These invasive weeds and algae are every bit as environment and economy-damaging as rabbits and wallabies. They have the potential to seriously hinder the tourism experience let alone affect residents’ water and recreation.”

Cr Laws is proposing a multi-disciplinary Southern Lakes Taskforce, led and funded by the regional council, and involving scientic experts and local community groups.

“ Almost everyone here accepts that there is a problem. Except the regional council and that’s disappointing.”

Cr Laws says the appointment of scientist and fellow councillor Dr Maggie Lawton to the council’s technical committee “is a step in the right direction. But I’m concerned already that the bureaucracy seems not to understand either the gravity of the situation nor the urgency required.”

“Water availability and water quality are the paramount issues here. The lakes are the jewel in our environment crown. They need some loving and expert attention, and they need it now.”


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