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Catley calls on government to act after second Mannering Park fish kill

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Swansea state MP Yasmin Catley believes urgent NSW Government action is required following a second fish kill at Mannering Park.

The first incident was reported to the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) on Friday 5 August after hundreds of dead sea creatures washed ashore at the same location.

And, following extensive water sampling, toxicity testing and analysis of the site, both the EPA and NSW Fisheries deemed it a natural event.

“The bay at Mannering Park has elevated temperatures compared to the rest of Lake Macquarie due to the cooling water discharges from Vales Point power station,” EPA director regulatory operations David Gathercole said late last month.

“A range of fish, including tropical, are attracted to the bay due to these higher temperatures.

“The fish kill was preceded by cool nights in the first week of August and a shift to northerly winds, with the strongest winds on 4 August.

“This may have caused cold lake water to enter the bay and resulted in a turnover of the water column.

“If this was rapid enough, it would have caused a disturbance of the sediments, which explains the high ammonium concentrations observed on 5 August, and potentially the release of sulphides.”

But, now, a second fish kill has occurred at Mannering Park within a matter of weeks, prompting community concern as they await the results of further EPA testing. 

“Having two significant events within a short period of time is extremely concerning, distressing for the community, and is unprecedented in Lake Macquarie,” Ms Catley said.

“I have written to both the Minister for Environment and Heritage and the Minister for Agriculture requesting they make every resource available to investigate this matter.

“I have also sought to speak with both Ministers urgently.

“I remain in contact with the EPA and will continue to update the community as new information comes to hand.

“It is important that the EPA conducts its testing urgently so we can be guided by the science in responding to these unique events.”

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