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Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP,
Minister for Energy and Mining

Port Augusta residents can look forward to a fresher, healthier future with work on the remediation of Bird Lake set to begin soon.  

The Marshall Liberal Government is delivering on its election promise to provide the Port Augusta City Council with $3.2 million it sought to fund 100 percent of the cost to rehabilitate Bird Lake.  

Port Augusta’s busy southeast entrance to the city and nearby residents and businesses have experienced increased unpleasant odours since the closure of the Northern Power Station in May 2016 resulted in the lake no longer being flooded.  

“The stench from Bird Lake has been detrimental to the quality of life of affected residents, detracted from the city’s positive reputation and impacted on the local tourism industry,” said Member for Stuart and Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“The Marshall Liberal Government allocated $3.2 million in its 2018–19 State Budget to fund the Port Augusta City Council’s plan to reduce the odour and improve the city’s social and economic development.  

“With the funding agreement in place, Council will now commence the project’s first stage: engaging Tonkin Consulting to prepare the engineering, revegetation and other project management plans.

“Work is expected to begin at the Willsden site in March and finish in September.

“As the local member, I was pleased to make this election commitment and it has now been delivered.

“I’ve been all too aware of how difficult it’s been for people living in and near Willsden, and for those travelling through that region, to tolerate the smells emanating from the lake.  

“The former Labor Government offered only half of funding the Council wanted to deal with the issue.

“As promised, the Marshall Government delivered funding in its first Budget to enable the Council to address this issue.”

Port Augusta City Council Chief Executive Officer John Banks said the Council and the city’s residents thanked Minister van Holst Pellekaan for his efforts in advocating for the lake’s rehabilitation.

“This has been a major problem for many years, and particularly since the power station closed – but is one that this community did not cause, and did not have the financial resources to solve,” Mr Banks said.

“We all thank the Minister for his understanding of our frustration, and for his support for a solution.  

“Our city is looking forward to a period of economic growth, fuelled by new opportunities in sectors such as renewable energy and tourism. Removing the smell and returning the lake to its natural state will help put Port Augusta in the best place to capitalise on those opportunities.”

15 January 2019