DISAPPOINTED: Ballina resident Mike Tancred wants council to clean up the remaining seaweed at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach and to keep it clean if large amounts come back.
DISAPPOINTED: Ballina resident Mike Tancred wants council to clean up the remaining seaweed at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach and to keep it clean if large amounts come back. Francis Witsenhuysen

'Putrid' weed ruining beach could be 'disastrous': Resident

WHILE the piles of "mountainous seaweed" at Lennox has somewhat washed away, one resident believes it will come back worse than ever.

The seaweed and its "putrid" smell at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach has been an ongoing issue for Mike Tancred and his neighbours since November last year.

"We've had it for four months, it's not good enough," Mr Tancred said.

"The king tide washed some of it away, but now we've got a couple more cyclones off Queensland, we will probably get North Easterly winds which will bring it all back just in time for Easter.

"That weed will stay there now and stink and won't be cleaned up again by council."

When that area of the beach was inundated with seaweed, Mr Tancred said it "looked and smelled like sewage".

"When the wind blows form the NE the smell goes all the way up through Allen's Pde, Dress circle Dr, Pinnicle Row... I'm sure the people on the hill can smell it as well," he said.

"They deal with the putrid smell 24/7.

"The kids from the Fitness Camp normally snorkel in that area but wisely the staff have kept them out of the water at the southern end."

Mr Tancred said the economic impacts to the region from the seaweed could be disastrous.

"People come here to holiday all year round and in peak season they pay $3000 a week to rent a house," he said.

"But when there was mountainous weed through December and January... there's no way these people would pay that to come back next year.

"I don't think council understand the potential damage it can do to businesses in the area.

"It's upsetting enough that I can't swim when the seaweed is bad and that the smell is affecting so many people, but the economic impact could be huge."

He said Ballina Shire Council's response and inaction over the matter was "extremely disappointing".

"I understand the seaweed is a natural occurrence but council needs to clean the beach, that's what we ratepayers pay our rates for," he said.

"It wouldn't take long, maybe less than an hour to get a tractor with a scourer to clean up this southern end of the beach.

"Cleaning up the weed is not going to impact on the Marine Park.

"Someone from council needs to come out and have a look."

A Ballina Shire Council spokesperson reiterated they did not have the jurisdiction to clean up the seaweed on Seven Mile Beach.

"We are unable to remove the seaweed, because it is in the marine park and because of the ecological issues. This is a naturally occurring process and part of the ecosystem within the marine park," the spokesperson said.