A $50,000 grant to fix the odour of rotting seaweed at a Swansea beach will be returned to the Tasmanian government, after no long term solution was found by the council.
The Glamorgan Spring Bay Council will return the unspent $46,815 to the state government, after it spent $3185 on community consultation.
It received the funding off former Premier Will Hodgman in June 2018 to undertake a study after community concerns were raised about the odour of the rotting seaweed on Jubilee Beach.
The council tried to remove the seaweed, only for it to return days later and over the last three years no solution was found.
The council's general manager Greg Ingham said it asked the government if the funding could be spent on another project but was informed it needed to be returned if not used for Swansea's seaweed issue.
He said the solution needed to be holistic and a long term fix that would extend beyond the town to be economically viable.
"The issue here is justifying a $50,000 grant to deal with odours produced by foreshore deposited seaweed at Swansea," he said.
"Any long term solution would need to be affordable, effective and would need to mitigate negative environmental impacts.
"It should be noted, that there are significant environmental issues with the mechanical removal of seaweed on a beach foreshore including the impact on threatened bird species."
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In late 2018 GSBC NRM were given authority to investigate options, but the study moved into a composting feasibility study with no reference to the odour problem.
Mr Ingham said an Expression of Interest to attract a consultant to prepare the composting feasibility study was prepared for advertising but was put on hold by the acting general manager in April 2020.
"The study moved to a study into composting, which appears to have transpired without the elected member's knowledge," he said.
"With various changes within Glamorgan Spring Bay Council ... in 2020, the seaweed project lapsed."
A shift came in early 2020, when a consultant was engaged to undertake community consultation on the odour, but in the consultant's report last month no recommendations were handed down.
Deputy mayor Jenny Woods acknowledged the businesses of Swansea and said it was an issue many beaches in the municipality dealt with.
"I appreciate their frustrations with regards to the odour that comes with this phenomenon," she said.
"It's out of our hands and I'd like to acknowledge too that this happens ... in other parts of the municipality, however there are no businesses per say.
"We still have a stinking mess that comes up to West Shelly and East Shelly every now and again."
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