AN OYSTER A DAY: Brian Shanahan shows off an oyster from his farm at Wooli.
AN OYSTER A DAY: Brian Shanahan shows off an oyster from his farm at Wooli.

Australia?s cleanest harvest

By EMMA CORNFORD

ecornford@dailyexaminer.com.au

LARGE, black pallets tower in the shed that forms part of Wooli resident Brian Shanahan's oyster farm.

They stand a couple of metres high and are packed with some of the freshest oysters you can lay your hands on.

Now those oysters, plucked form the Wooli River, will be able to go directly to the consumer after Wooli farmers were granted permission to harvest directly from the river and forgo the 36-hour purification process.

According to Wooli oyster farmer Brian Shanahan, who has been campaigning for direct harvest approval for more than a decade, it proves the Wooli River is one of the cleanest waterways in Australia.

"It's certainly one of the cleanest in the state and probably in Australia," he said this week.

"This approval just confirms what we've been trying to say for so long."

Mr Shanahan, one of around three oyster farmers in Wooli, has been testing the Wooli River over the past 12 years in a bid to get Safe Food Australia to remove the purification requirement.

"After 12 years of our tests they got an independent tester in for two years and now that's turned out all right ... so we can get the oysters straight from the river," he said.

"The upshot is really the environmental aspect ... and people can know that their grandkids are swimming and playing in one of the cleanest rivers in the country."

Mr Shanahan said the cleanliness would not have been possible without the co-operation of the entire Wooli community.

"I would like to thank them because everyone has done so much to ensure our river stays clean. Residents with their septics and the caravan park which has put a hell of a lot of work in as well," he said. "It's not just that it saves us a lot of work. It also makes a difference to the value of our farms ... and the whole area.

"There was a lot of yelling here on Friday when we found out, that's for sure."



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