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To preserve and enhance the cultural environmental and social sustainability of the Tyagarah Area and its inhabitants

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June 14, 2001

Weed Spraying

Council sprayed along Grays and Preston's lanes today, despite the areas sprayed being maintained by residents. Mitra submitted a formal (personal, not TSCA) complaint to council.

Today 14th June 2001, Council workers - Greg Anderson and Steve Sweeney - sprayed road-sides along Grays Lane and Prestons Lane.

I understand council's policy is to spray only where necessary, for example reflector posts on corners etc and not to spray where the landowners have kept their own land in order. I was on bike and so could not observe closely, but from the speed variations of the vehicle it was clearly spraying many places along these lanes without regard for necessity. I personally observed two places in particular.

The first was a small fencepost in the roadside verge, the verge along this whole stretch of Prestons Lane is kept under control, and had indeed been brushcut the day before, so clearly there was no need for spraying.

The second case was along Gray's Lane going down towards the nature reserve. The particular section I observed as I caught up to the truck on my bike, was the outside of a bend, so obviously not a visibility problem, the undergrowth was about 30cms high, so not even close to being a visibility hazard. The water from here drains directly into the nature reserve.

Preston's Lane is used daily by people walking and their kids playing, and despite this no warnings were given, and no notices posted.

Since Byron Shire Council does not have a written vegetation management policy - unlike for example Tweed, it is impossible to tell if this is a policy failure, or a failure of management to ensure that staff correctly implement the policy, or a failure of the sprayers to follow instructions, or all three.

Posted at June 14, 2001 12:00 AM

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