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Boots for tourism industry: Chester



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SAVING THE GIPPSLAND LAKES

BOOST FOR TOURISM INDUSTRY: CHESTER

January 6, 2012

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed today’s announcement that warning signs related to an outbreak of blue green algae in the Gippsland Lakes will be removed.

Mr Chester said it was a timely boost for the tourism industry and he has encouraged Gippslanders to consider taking a break in the east of the region this summer.

“It is certainly welcome news that the algal bloom has abated in most areas of the Gippsland Lakes and there are large sections which are available for swimming, recreational boating and fishing,” Mr Chester said.

“With more warm weather on the way it’s the perfect time to enjoy the lakes, rivers and beaches throughout Gippsland.”

“By taking a break in our own backyard we can all help to support local jobs in the region.”

The latest information from the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) is as follows:

* Recent results from monitoring of the Gippsland Lakes blue-green algal bloom indicate that the algae in most areas have declined sufficiently to levels that will no longer adversely affect human and animal health on contact with the water.

* Signage will remain in place in areas still affected by blue-green algae where you should not come in contact with the water. Signs have been removed in areas that no longer have levels of algae high enough to trigger the installation of signs to warn against swimming and other contact with the water.

* This includes the Lakes Entrance, Metung and Paynesville areas. Areas west of Paynesville had not reached levels high enough to warn people not to swim in the water.

* Signs will remain in place at Bunga Arm, Ocean Grange and Steamer Landing, where the levels of algae are still well above the trigger levels that can affect human health.

* Mussels, prawns and crabs caught anywhere in the Gippsland Lakes are not safe for human consumption. The signs warning people not to eat mussels, prawns or crabs caught in the Lakes will stay in place until testing shows that levels of the toxins in seafood have declined enough to lift the advisory.

Information about blue-green algae is available on the DSE water website www.water.vic.gov.au/environment/algae and from DSE’s Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

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