A BOTTLE of Bowen water caused a stir in Federal Parliament on Thursday as Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen called for an inquiry into Whitsunday Regional Council’s supply of unsafe water.
A group of Bowen residents have voiced serious concerns over water quality that they say has been independently tested and shown to be unsafe.
Mr Christensen held up a bottle of Bowen water during a speech this morning to highlight the colour of the water, despite the rule that props can not be used in parliament.
The deputy speaker stopped short of reprimanding Mr Christensen for using the “prop”, saying what he had been holding up appeared to be a half empty bottle of Coke which only further highlighted the dirtiness of Bowen’s drinking water in the national parliament.
“The fact that Mayor Mike Brunker’s council is pushing this disgusting sludge through the water pipes to local residents is a disgrace,” Mr Christensen said.
Mr Christensen quoted an email from Bowen Tourist Caravan Park owner Russell Cook about water samples taken on September 21 at 5am, 8.30am, and 4.15pm.
Testing carried out by a reputable NATA certified laboratory with Townsville City Council showed the water samples breached the health limits of Australian Drinking Water Standards by 12,980%, 2,720%, and 6,680%, respectively.
Mr Christensen said Whitsunday Regional Council had denied such a water problem existed but the evidence was coming out of the taps.
“Mayor Mike Brunker knew there was a problem because the council phoned residents to warn them about the dirty water and there are serious legal concerns that a council has knowingly supplied unsafe water.”
In a letter sent to the Office of the Water Supply Regulator today, Mr Christensen has called for an urgent inquiry into the dirty, unsafe water at Bowen and for the regulator to check if council has breached either the Public Health Act 2005 or the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.
“I have asked the Office of Water Supply Regulator to find out whether Whitsunday Regional Council has a Drinking Water Quality Management Plan in place for Bowen, to make it available to me if there is one so I can make it public and also to investigate if council has been complying with this management plan,” Mr Christensen said.
Mr Christensen has also asked the regulator if the Whitsunday Regional Council had reported any water quality incidents since such reporting became mandatory and for copies of any available incident reports.