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Oyster Farmers Working to Protect Macleay River

Tar treated oyster racks for landfillNorth Coast Local Land Services are providing up to $50,000 to Macleay River oyster farmers to help protect the Macleay River.  Not only will ecologically sustainable practices will be possible through the support of state of the art aquaculture equipment purchases, the removal of waste will also be supported through the funding.

North Coast Local Land Services has been assisting oyster farmers in the region to implement actions from Environmental Management Systems that have been prepared, with input from oyster farmers, for catchments in the Mid North Coast from Nambucca to Camden Haven.

North Coast Local Land Services Senior Land Services Officer Max Osborne said "With the introduction of new production methods, there is a legacy of oyster growing infrastructure such as bitumen, tar and copper chrome arsenate treated timber posts, rails, and racks.  There is also a build up of other waste that oyster farmers remove from the estuary after major floods."

"Much of the waste has built up around oyster work sheds over decades and, in some cases, over generations and is often inherited by newcomers to the oyster industry."

"This waste is expensive and difficult to remove and the funding is a great incentive for oyster farmers to clean up work sites," he said.

The program has resulted in an agreement by Kempsey Shire Council and the Environmental Protection Authority that reduces the normal tipping fees to about one third of the usual cost. An estimated fifty tonnes of bulky waste should make its way out of the Macleay Estuary and into landfill over the next month.

Funding is being provided from the Australian Government through their Caring for our Country program.

Image: Tar treated oyster racks for landfill

Media Contact:                      Max Osborne, Senior Land Services Officer, 02 6563 6710