by Sharon Beder
first published by Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1989
Our beaches have become open sewers. Each day a billion litres of nearly raw sewage mixed with toxic industrial waste are dumped into the sea off Sydney right next to much-loved places like Bondi and Manly, fouling bathing waters and causing fish contamination.
Who is turning the Australian coastline into a dump for toxic and infectious waste and why are they doing it? How have they managed to get away with it? Why are valuable tourist resources in both Australia and New Zealand beign destroyed by sewage pollution.
Toxic Fish and Sewer Surfing uncovers a sorry story of shortsightedness, deceit and collusion. It reveals the true state of affairs behind the phoney public relations campaign designed to reassure an increasingly sceptical public.
1. Pointing the sewers seaward
The shape of things to come
The first sewage farm--a half-hearted effort
Ten thousand sewers could not pollute the ocean
In deference to the interests of business people
The promise of treatment
The SPCC—a toothless watchdog
Classification and licences to pollute
Cleaning the rivers and fouling the sea
Sydney Water Boards self-monitoring system
What the surveys revealed
The effects on marine life
Does toxic waste accumulate in the ocean?
The trade waste philosophy--catering to industry
The new trade waste policy--how new?
How industry watered down the trade waste policy
Out of sight, not out of mind
International legislation--the London Dumping Convention
Swimming in a secondary treatment plant
Citing irrelevant data on health risks
Extended ocean oufalls--a reduction in risk?
Consequences of a surface field
Consequences of a submerged field
A one-sided public relations battle
The engineers who speak out--and those who don't
We're spending millions...
The events of 1989: 77 days that shook the Board
Mercury in Sydney's fish
Continuing to mislead
The public speaks out—but who's listening?
Beyond Sydney: democracy in action
Wellington, New Zealand
Engineers versus democracy