Dysart’s community advocate, Jim Pearce, has accused Saraji mine owners, BMA, of ‘dodging the bullet’, over the mining town’s water quality woes.
Speaking to the ABC, Pearce said BMA had allowed ‘council to carry the burden of blame’, over the town’s water that locals describe as ‘discoloured, unpleasant to taste and pungent’.
In early December, Dysart residents were advised to bring buckets and containers into the Town Square to collect drinking water from a water truck after a major failure at the town’s water treatment plant.
The town’s water supply is purchased by BMA from Sunwater and is pumped from the Bingegang weir on the Mackenzie River into the Dysart’s Council controlled water treatment plant.
“We don’t know where the real problem is at this stage still, it could even start back at the river,” Pearce said.
“Once it goes through the council fence and into the treatment plant, it then becomes the responsibility of the council so if there are problems between the water treatment plant and where they take the water out of the river, it’s not council responsibility.”
“I think the biggest problem we’ve had in Dysart in recent weeks is the lack of the two parties (council and BMA) working together and putting everything they can into resolving the issue,” Pearce said.
“The feedback that I’m getting is that it would appear that BMA are doing everything they can to dodge the bullet, they’re not actually communicating with the community, they’re not prepared to step forward and work hand-in-hand with the council.
“They do play an important role and the community would feel much better if both these stakeholders were working together in partnership.”
An independent consultant has been engaged by Isaac Regional Council to test the town’s water supply with the results expected to be released later this month.