Whale Carcass To Be Removed Monday!
Sep 22, 2017 — Hi all,
Firstly, thanks to everyone that supported our online petition and efforts lobbying Council to remove the whale carcass from Nobby's Beach Port Macquarie. When we presented at Wednesday night’s Council meeting there were some 2700 signatures and 35 pages of comments (the petition right now stands at over 3300). This coupled with the 400 paper-based signed petition was an unprecedented show of support by our community.
We are happy (that's a massive understatement) to report that the buried whale carcass at Nobby’s Beach will be removed on Monday! As you can see in Councils media release below there was quite some logistics that needed to be worked out, however the good news, and end result, is that the carcass and contaminated soil / sand will be removed.
This is fantastic for the Port Macquarie community and our visitors alike as is the reopening of beaches this weekend. It is heartening to hear that the situation will be closely monitored in the short term and that in the coming weeks.
Port Macquarie beaches will be re-opening tomorrow (Saturday) with increased surveillance via drones, jet-skis and helicopters. Personally, we’ll all look forward to being back in the water this weekend.
We ask you to please share this fantastic news far and wide via your social channels. We've been in the media for all the wrong reasons so it is important for us to spread the good news and the positive message about our beautiful Port Macquarie far and wide.
On behalf of the community, we thank the PMHC Councillors, General Manager and staff for their support and also the NSW State Government for their emergency funding of the removal. We also spare a thought and extend our sincere thanks to the Council staff who have been tasked with the difficult and unpleasant job of removing the carcass over the coming days.
Thank you once again.
NOBBYS BEACH WHALE REMOVAL PLAN
22 September 2017
An operation to remove the whale carcass from Nobbys Beach will commence on Monday 25 September.
In response to community concerns, the estimated 20 tonne whale carcass and contaminated clay and sand will be removed from the beach and trucked to landfill in a Council-managed operation, working with local contractors. Planning for the operation has included consultation with local community representatives, NSW Department of Industry, Lands and Forestry, NSW Police, the Environment Protection Agency and NSW Fire and Rescue.
“This is going to be a challenging job but Council recognises it is a high priority for many in our community. We will commence work first thing Monday. There are a number of unknowns that will affect the timing of the operation but we expect it will take more than one day to complete,” said Council General Manager, Craig Swift-McNair.
The operation will involve use of heavy equipment and potentially chainsaws on the beach to break up the whale carcass and load it into lined skip bins. The bins will be lifted off the beach by a 220 tonne crane and trucked to the Cairncross Waste Management Facility. Detailed plans to ensure a safe worksite are currently being finalised. This includes crane set-up, construction of an access point at the southern end of the beach for backhoe, excavator and positrack machinery, and handling of large skip bins.
The operation will take place above the high tide mark and additional measures will be taken to ensure the containment of waste away from the water.
“Our aim is to get the whale off the beach in the most efficient and safe manner. We know this will be hard and smelly work and I thank those contractors and staff who have agreed to assist,” Mr Swift-McNair said.
“We look forward to re-opening the beach for the enjoyment of recreation users as soon as possible.”
There will be traffic measures in place for the safety of the public, including a Pacific Drive road closure, near Nobbys Beach (Swift St to Leanda St) from approximately 5:30am until the operation is completed. Council encourages the community to consider alternate routes where possible.
In addition, noting the crane operations at the top of the cliff near the corner of Pacific Drive and Swift St, for safety reasons, no members of the public or media will be allowed near the work site. Nobbys Beach, Kenny Drive and the entirety of Kenny Walk will be completely closed to access from Sunday evening for the duration.
Council asks all members of the public to please refrain from going anywhere near the site – this includes the use of drones.
Council will be providing regular updates and imagery via its Facebook page facebook.com/pmhc2444 and website at pmhc.nsw.gov.au/whale.
Nearby residents will also be contacted via letter today.
MEDIA CONTACT: Andy Roberts/Brent Ryan– 0412 769 454