Tyres stacked after an early attempt to clear them from a watercourse.
Tyres stacked after an early attempt to clear them from a watercourse. Contributed

Floods have spread tyre pollution

NOTHING prepared Ian Mackay for the scale of the pollution he helped uncover on government-owned property near Imbil.

His two-and-a-half-hour investigation of tyre pollution near Yabba Creek not only exposed a much larger issue than previously suspected, it overturned nine months worth of investigation by the state government and cleared the name of a wrongly accused man.

Chairman of the Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee, Mr Mackay said the story began a year ago when Imbil's Ride on Mary kayak operator Ian Harling first noticed tyres in Yabba Creek, between Imbil and the Mary Valley Hwy.

Mr Harling reported finding about 200 tyres and informed Gympie Regional Council.

The council passed the matter on to the State Government and, in December, Mr Harling expressed his concerns that no clean-up had occurred, with the prospect that summer flooding could spread the tyres far and wide.

He found a number of tyres on riverine countryside on land leased to Glen Carlson, the person initially and wrongly blamed for the problem.

Mr Carlson denied involvement and told Mr Mackay the tyres came from an upstream property nearby.

He told Mr Mackay the tyres seemed to have been dumped over many years and had since been washed out into the creek and on to his property

. Following a gully in the creek side, Mr Mackay and companions found the 200 tyres estimated by Mr Harling.

Further on they found several piles of tyres plucked from the gully, apparently awaiting removal as part of a clean-up attempt.

Then, just over the boundary, hidden by plant growth, was the tyre equivalent of a mother lode.

"The result (of government checks was) the wrong person being held liable," Mr Mackay said.

Gympie Times


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