More sampling to be done on Kalang oysters

THE NSW Food Authority says it wants to embark on a more robust sampling plan for the Kalang River. A spokesman said the new plan to specifically target allegedly affected areas, will be discussed at today's meeting of the Kalang River Premiers Working Group.

The group has been working to re-open the river for oyster harvesting since its closure last August.

Following encouraging results in October when only one of seven sights returned a positive norovirus reading, the group adopted a number of different strategies, including bi-monthly sampling.

“We were unable to take December samples due to staff shortages but if the group accepts the new plan then we will be on the water immediately,” the spokesman said.

Chairman of the group John Williams said the group had also decided not to continue sending samples to New Zealand for testing.

“We decided this was not giving us very good value for money,” Mr Williams said.

“We are looking to establish test facilities in Australia, hopefully by the end of this month.”

Mr Williams said while progress might appear slow, the problem was very complex.

“This has not been a straightforward case of contamination. We are working with a complex natural system, establishing an Australian testing facility plus positively identifying the source.”

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