By DAVID MOASE
GUMBALA Julipi Aboriginal elders carried out a smoking ceremony at Corambirra Point yesterday to purify the area and drive away evil ? and they rid the city of an ocean sewerage outfall into the bargain.
The smoking ceremony, overseen by a circling sea eagle, was the eerie highlight of a gathering to mark the commissioning of the deep sea release and the closure of the outfall at the point, as part of Coffs Harbour City Council's $170 million sewerage strategy.
Plans for the rehabilitation of the southern side of Corambirra Point were also revealed, while earlier in the day the Woolgoolga Water Reclamation Plant was opened.
Clean Up Australia founder Ian Kiernan who, in the late 1980s and 1990s, fought against the plan for an ocean outfall at Look At Me Now Headland, opened the release along with the mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades.
"You've now got a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant, you've got 100 per cent dry-flow reuse and now we are seeing the decommissioning of an ignorant system," Mr Kiernan said.
"In the difficult time when we were trying to stop the lunacy of the Look At Me Now outfall, the issues split families, it split friendships, it split the whole community.
"I think it would be very hard to find anyone in your community now that doesn't understand the good sense of what has been done."
Cr Rhoades described it as 'an historic day for Coffs Harbour' and a 'key milestone in the sewerage strategy'.
"Ultimately, (the sewerage strategy) will mean a wastewater system that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable for current and future generations," he said.