Hunter Water’s response to the plight of Elermore Vale residents and schoolchildren who are having to endure raw sewage overflows is completely inadequate, according to The Greens Lord Mayoral and Ward 4 candidate for Newcastle, John Sutton.
Mr Sutton said he had written to Hunter Water about the raw sewage problem in Elermore Vale more than a month ago after being alerted to it by local residents, and had raised the matter with the Newcastle Herald because of concerns about the corporation’s inaction.
“Hunter Water has known about this appalling situation for decades, and it’s just not good enough for them to fob off residents again by issuing vague media statements (as quoted in today’s Herald) claiming that options to upgrade the sewer system in Elermore Vale and Wallsend are ‘under consideration’, Mr Sutton said.
“Local residents have heard all this before. They’ve been assured time and time again that the matter was under consideration and that something would be done.
“In today’s Australia, school kids and residents shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of third world exposure to raw sewage.
“Given the history and seriousness of this matter, it’s now time for Hunter Water to come clean with the community, and say exactly what options are ‘under consideration’ to solve this problem, where this consideration is up to, and when residents can expect a decision and action.
“Residents will understandably regard anything less as another attempt by Hunter Water to wait until media attention subsides, in the hope that the residents will just give up,” Mr Sutton said.
Mr Sutton said that he had inspected the area with residents last month and heard stories of local schoolchildren wading in raw sewage, and of raw sewage floating through houses and yards, with residents enduring constantly gurgling toilets, sewage odours and cockroach plagues.
“Some residents believe that the situation has had a serious impact on their health,” Mr Sutton said.
Mr Sutton said that the raw sewage overflow also flowed down Ironbark Creek through the rest of Elermore Vale and Wallsend, and into the Hexham Wetlands, and that the matter had recently been raised by a community representative on the Advisory Committee for the Hexham Wetlands National Park.
For more information or comment contact: John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle Lord Mayor and Ward 4), on 0411 154 004.
John Sutton’s campaign blog is at: http://johnsutton4council.blogspot.com.au/
The Newcastle Greens website is at: http://www.newcastlegreens.org.au