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Coca-Cola's massive Australian ripoff - Money for nothing!

Coca-Cola Amatil accused of draining Springbrook National Park on the Gold Coast

 A row has developed between Springbrook
 and Coca-Cola Amatil over the global
 organisation’s water-pumping operation from
 Purlingbrook Falls to produce its Mount
 Franklin spring water. 

CASCADING streams tumbling over Purlingbrook Falls are the kind of thing money can't buy – and Coca-Cola Amital doesn’t have to.

The international soft drink giant is under fire from locals in the tiny Gold Coast community of Springbrook over its water-pumping operation to produce Mount Franklin spring water.

Coca-Cola has a lease to extract water from groundwater at Springbrook – and they don’t have to pay a cent.

Under the terms of the agreement, Coca-Cola are restricted to operating from 8.30am-5pm six days a week and can take two tanker loads each day – but there is no limit on how much water they are allowed to take per visit.

Acting Gold Coast Mayor Donna Gates hinted that it might be time to renegotiate the terms of Coca-Cola’s arrangement on Springbrook.

“It’s a very old approval and it probably needs to be updated,” she said.

“It’s possible that a new material change of use application might be needed to alter their operations up there.”

The council’s development compliance department is now investigating complaints by Springbrook residents about Coca-Cola’s operations, but Councillor Gates said there was no evidence the company was breaching its obligations.

Earlier, The Courier-Mail reported residents of the tiny Gold Coast community of Springbrook are in a fizz over Coca-Cola Amatil’s water-pumping operation to produce its Mount Franklin spring water.

Springbrook is home to Purlingbrook Falls, one of Queensland’s most spectacular waterfalls, and the World Heritage-listed Springbrook National Park.

Coke has had approval for the operation since 2006, but residents say Springbrook’s creeks and streams have never looked worse.

Even after recent rain, the iconic Purlingbrook Falls looked more like a trickle yesterday, while other nearby watercourses have gone from cascading creeks to stagnant swamps as Coca-Cola continues to extract thousands of litres of water every day.

Ceris Ash has lived on the mountain for more than a decade and said immediate action was needed.

“They are threatening the world heritage values of Springbrook National Park,” she said.

Ms Ash said a dry summer was all the more reason for Coca-Cola to scale back its operations.

“They might say it’s not all down to them if we’ve had dry weather, but surely that needs to be taken in to account,” she said.

“You can’t just continue draining water away at the same level if there is less water around.”

Resident complaints to Coca-Cola have been defended by the company.

A Coca-Cola spokeswoman yesterday said the Springbrook operation followed guidelines.

“CCA extracts groundwater from its site in the Springbrook area and is compliant with conditions set by the Gold Coast City Council,” she said.

In her latest sponsorship deal, Aussie supermodel Jennifer Hawkins has given Mount Franklin sparkling water a fresh new look.

“They are taking their water out of the ground, but that all still feeds into the creeks and streams that go through the national park and down to the coast.”

“We are just one of 50 or more bore sites in the area, and we certainly support a sustainable water plan for the whole area which must include all the water users.

“We look forward to working with the Gold Coast City Council on such a plan.

Queensland Natural resources Minister Andrew Cripps said Coca-Cola was not breaching any laws.

“Surface water levels are not necessarily linked to groundwater extraction,” he said

The matter is now under investigation by the council’s development compliance department.


COMMENT: It's about time the Gold Coast City Council closed this operation down. Coca-Cola has had it too good for too long, literally drawing down our natural resources for huge profits. Coca-Cola is defending the indefensible and should take a long, hard look at this operation.