Busselton Seaweed

Reporter: Andrea Burns

These people live near some of Western Australia's most spectacular south west beaches, but don't go in the water, believing dumped seaweed like this is creating a danger to their health.

Peter Maccora and Judy Clarke are from the Wonnerup Action Group, formed after the government gave the green light over a decade ago, to a man made marina, which displaces one hundred thousand cubic metres of sea weed, every year. The mountains of weed create hydrogen sulphide gas, which smells like rotten eggs.

Locals like Win Gallagher and Kate Denney feared the gas was not just a nuisance, but a health hazard.

The group spent $7000 of their own money on independent air quality meters. The results confirmed their worst fears.

A World Health Organisation study found a reading of 2 parts per million of hydrogen sulphide gas can cause bronchial constriction in asthmatics. The Action Group's monitor peaked at almost double that.

The mountains of seaweed formed after the marina blocked the natural flow of seaweed.

The developer's been paying to move some weed by truck. Some is mulched and pumped back out to sea, but that too has led to problems with elevated nitrogen levels found nearby.

The Action group also believes these bubbles are evidence dumped seaweed are also affecting the seabed. Barry and Ann Faithful claim successive governments have failed them.