A SOUTH-WEST politician is calling for an independent investigation into suspected contamination of water at a popular Port Fairy surf spot.
It comes after two men were hospitalised after surfing in brown sludge-like matter at The Passage over Easter.
It is not yet clear if the two surfers became sick due to the brown sludge in the water.
The state's environment department is investigating the incident, but South West Coast MP Roma Britnell says it needs to be independent from government.
She said a full, independent and transparent investigation was essential. She has written to the Minister for Environment Lily D'Ambrosio asking her to launch such an investigation.
Ms Britnell said there were several universities or agencies from other states that could conduct an independent investigation.
"We've got two people who could have died they were so sick after surfing over Easter and the community wants answers," Ms Britnell said.
"A full and independent investigation is essential to ensure the community has confidence that the cause of this suspected contamination is found and dealt with appropriately."
A spokeswoman from Minister D'Ambrosio's office said the "appropriate" authorities were already investigating the matter thoroughly.
Ms Britnell said people in the Port Fairy community were expressing concerns this incident wouldn't be investigated properly.
"I'm being told a government investigating itself doesn't provide them with any confidence they will get answers - and that's a statement I would agree with."
"It's imperative that samples collected are sent to an independent body for testing and investigation."
Ms Britnell said the natural environment was one of the region's biggest assets and it must be protected.
"We rely on the environment for our way of life and for our vital tourism sector - the last thing I want is confidence eroded so that people don't feel safe coming here to enjoy our beaches," she said.
"A truly independent investigation and then taking any actions required is the only way to ensure that confidence in our environment can be maintained."
Moyne Shire mayor Daniel Meade said the council was in regular contact with DELWP and the EPA regarding the suspected algal blooms around The Passage, Port Fairy.
"We urge the community to listen to the health advice issue by the state government and avoid swimming or surfing in the area if they see any discolouration in the water," he said.
"For this particular outbreak we know as much as has been released by DELWP and Wannon Water.
"Obviously wherever there's a health risk it's a concern to me for sure.
"He (surfer Tim Dryden) is facing some serious health issues at the moment and council hopes to get the support required to make a full recovery."
He said the council would meet tomorrow to discuss whether to support Ms Britnell's call for an independent investigation.
The Standard put questions to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning this morning after the department collected water samples from in and around The Passage last week.
Incident controller Andrew Pritchard said testing was still underway.
"Testing of water samples taken from the surf at multiple locations around Port Fairy is continuing," he said.
"We're continuing to advise members of the public to avoid direct contact with waters off the coast of Port Fairy if they observe discolouration in the water."
However, an EPA spokesman told The Standard last week that too much time had lapsed between the discoloured water being seen, and it being reported to EPA.
"Any EPA field response to identify a source or undertake sampling was not possible," he said.
"An EPA officer was actually in the area yesterday (last Thursday) and did not observe any discoloured water."
The Passage is close to Wannon Water's Port Fairy sewage ocean outfall.
According to Wannon Water's annual statement to the EPA for 2019-2020, 103 water samples were taken at the Hamilton Road sewage site in Port Fairy in the financial year.
In 12 months 806 mega litres of sewage - 806 million litres - was discharged from the site.
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