Lake Tom Thumb 'a health hazard'

Residents demand council take action

EAGLEHAWK residents say Lake Tom Thumb is a public health hazard and are urging the City of Greater Bendigo to take action.

Claire Stemmer, who lives beside the lake, says the silver gull and white ibis "infestation" is impacting on the well-being of nearby residents. 

She has started a petition - which has already attracted more than 350 signatures - to demand change.

The petition was presented to councillors twice last month.

In response, a council officer will meet with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries and interested residents at the lake this week to discuss the problem.

Ms Stemmer said dozens of residents were desperate for a solution. 

"It's becoming a health hazard, not to mention the smell and constant noise," she said.

"I am woken up in the middle of the night quite often because you can just hear it all the time.

"It was once a beautiful green island but over the last six months it's just gotten worse and worse."

Councillor Peter Cox said if nothing was done soon, the whole island would be destroyed. 

"The birds destroyed Lake Neangar  - everything died on the island and it stunk to high heaven," he said.

"This problem is now occurring at Lake Tom Thumb and something needs to be done."

Cr Cox said building a bridge to the island - which would cost about $180,000 - would help relocate the birds. 

"It's a sensitive issue but we need a community meeting with all the stakeholders to involve people and work out a solution," he said. 

"I'm disappointed council hasn't organised this yet."

Council presentation and assets director Darren Fuzzard said council was keen to deal with the matter.

"Because these are native birds, we have to get approval from DEPI with whatever we do," he said.

"We are currently working on options about the best way to tackle this, but it's too early to discuss any of these."

DEPI said it had provided council with a range of options to manage the site. 

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