A council is under the pump from an employee who says members of the council were behind an E.coli cover-up which may have resulted in the death of residents.
A council is under the pump from an employee who says members of the council were behind an E.coli cover-up which may have resulted in the death of residents.

COVER-UP? Employee claims council may have killed residents

The Mount Isa City Council is under the pump from one of their employees, who claims members of the council were behind an E.coli cover-up which may have killed residents.

The North West Star reports the council have contacted relevant authorities after further allegations were made of E. coli being present in the town's drinking water.

The original claims date back to March, when the council denied there was an issue with the water.

Now the council's laboratory technician Jo Hardie, who samples, tests, monitors and reports on the various types of water being supplied to the Mount Isa community, has declared several council staff knew of E. coli being present in the town's drinking water.

Mount Isa Council are caught up in an E. coli scandal.
Mount Isa Council are caught up in an E. coli scandal.

"I am recommending the immediate dismissal of any council staff members involved in the mismanagement of council water infrastructure or that were involved in the cover up of information relating to unsafe water being provided to the public," Ms Hardie said.

Ms Hardie said the presence of E. coli in the water may have led to deaths of people in the community.

"Let me be as clear as I can, there is every likelihood that the mismanagement of Mount Isa water has resulted in death, from either exposure to the incredibly high levels of E. coli at the Fun Park (over a period of at least two years) and from the long term failure to adequately disinfect the town's drinking water supply resulting in conditions like gastroenteritis," Ms Hardie said.

The Mount Isa Mine. Pic. Dew Annette JJ067675
The Mount Isa Mine. Pic. Dew Annette JJ067675

"The most at risk are the vulnerable of your electorate; the very old, the very young and those with already compromising health conditions, including members of the local indigenous community."

A Mount Isa City Council spokesperson said they received a complaint about the town's water reservoirs in March and they take "all complaints of this nature seriously."

"An internal investigation is under way and it would be inappropriate to comment further until the investigation has been completed," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the council conducts regular testing of town water reservoirs to ensure a safe water supply for residents, with public health and community safety the council's highest priority.

Originally published as COVER-UP: Employee claims council may have killed residents