City of Subiaco investigating dead turtles, birds found at BCL Group’s Lake Jualbup site


Precautionary signs around Lake Jualbup.
Precautionary signs around Lake Jualbup.

TURTLES and birds were found dead at Lake Jualbup in Shenton Park days after a civil contractor working on the area suspended trading.

An emergency Environment Department vehicle and City of Subiaco trucks were on the scene on Wednesday afternoon, with the City working to establish whether the wildlife deaths were related to the site works.

BCL Group was hired by the City of Subiaco to complete $1.4 million of upgrade works at the Shenton Park site over 14 weeks from late November 2017.

The works aimed to enhance the lake’s ecological value and public amenity, and included dewatering activities to create a temporary dry section at the lake edge to allow access to walls.

Subiaco chief executive Don Burnett confirmed BCL Group suspended trading and dewatering at the site had stopped.

Lake Jualbup in Shenton Park Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

“BCL stopped work at the site on Friday, February 16, and on Monday the City received notice of their suspension of trading,” Mr Burnett said.

“At this stage we don’t know if [the wildlife deaths are] related to the site works or if there were other causes.”

The wildlife loss was recorded on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mr Burnett said the City was in the process of reappointing a new contractor, and testing was continuing in the area.

“Water testing indicated that the water quality was at acceptable levels up until Friday, the last day of testing,” he said.

Affected wildlife has been collected by the City, the Department of Parks and Wildlife and environmental consultants.

Mayor Penny Taylor said the City had put up precautionary signs by the lake.

“It’s disappointing we’ve had BCL fall over, but we’re focusing on the environmental conditions,” she said.

“Subcontractors are empowered to tell us any issues, the CEO wants to know any concerns.”

Mr Burnett said City staff were working with authorities to identify the source of the problem and protect the turtles, birds and other wildlife at the lake.

“This isn’t something the City has done, but we’re responding,” Ms Taylor said.

“Wildlife are a vital part of the lake.”

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