Help me drain lagoon urges Jim
The stretch of beach from the Byron Bay Surf Club to Clarks Beach was once named one of the 10 best beaches in the world.
But thanks to an eyesore lagoon stretching hundreds of metres along the beach, today it would be lucky to make the top 100.
“It’s just dreadful,” said long-time resident Jim Clark, who has called on Byron Council to cut a channel to the surf to drain the lagoon.
But with no immediate response from the council, Mr Clark plans to take matters into his own hands – literally.
He will be on the beach tomorrow morning at 7.30 with his shovel and has urged other residents to join him with their shovels – and gloves.
“We can’t guarantee the quality of water in the lagoon,” he said.
“If this was down on Bondi Beach, Kristina Keneally (NSW Premier) would be waving her arms around.
“If it was on the beach on the Gold Coast, Anna Bligh (Queensland Premier) would be there in a flash to fix it.”
Mr Clark said a major cause of the lagoon forming was the stormwater coming from the drain emptying on to Clarks Beach.
To stop turning a famous stretch of beach into a regular eyesore, the stormwater,from the Massinger Street area, should be diverted into the town’s main drain, he said.
Father of two young children, Andrew Berry, said he had stopped taking them to Clarks Beach because of the lagoon.
“I would not let my kids anywhere near it,” he said.
The council’s executive manager of community infrastructure Phil Holloway said the lagoon didn’t pose a health hazard risk.
"Council regularly monitors the water quality of the site for potential health risks,” he said. "If the site was found to potentially become a health hazard we will immediately open the lagoon."
Mr Holloway said the council had no immediate plans or funding available to connect the stormwater pipe into the town drainage system.