16 C
Byron Shire
May 26, 2024

Steam weeding trial ‘steamrolled’ says operator

Latest News

Surfing on the spectrum – free fun for everyone at Lennox and Byron this Sunday

Ocean Heroes will be giving children who are on the autism spectrum the chance to experience what it is like to be in the ocean on a surfboard this Saturday at Lennox Head and Sunday in Byron Bay.

Other News

Byron Rebels continue strong run in local rugby union

The Byron Shire Rebels put on 83 unanswered points against Lismore Rugby Club last weekend at Shultz Oval, capping...

Death and Dying expo May 25

On Saturday May 25, a free Death and Dying expo will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 10am-2pm.

The Darling Muffs of May need your help to reach fundraising target

Raising money to support frontline services for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness has been the driving force behind the Darling Muffs of May’s fundraising this year.

A long story

I see that Israel supporters take exception to the expression ‘from the river to the sea’ as meaning that...

Fastest billycart clocked at over 40km/h at Bangalow Billycart Derby

Sunday saw around 5,000 people head to Bangalow to enjoy the Bangalow Billycart Derby with Greg Nash, Bangalow Lions Club President, telling The Echo that it was a ‘glorious autumn day'.

The Fall Guy

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt are being silly in a film take of the ‘80s television series: The Fall Guy. He’s a stuntman, and like everyone in the stunt community, he gets blown up, shot, crashed, thrown through windows and dropped from the highest of heights, all for our entertainment. And now, fresh off an almost career-ending accident, this working-class hero has to track down a missing movie star, solve a conspiracy, and try to win back the love of his life while still doing his day job. What could possibly go right?

weed-smoker-1200-640x426
Paul Sommers was asked by Council to conduct steam-weeding trials in February 2014. Photo Jeff Dawson

 

Hans Lovejoy

Byron Shire Council is planning to buy steam weeding equipment for its staff to operate following a trial of the chemical-free method that the operator says was conducted in less than optimal conditions.

The announcement to investigate chemical-free weed control comes amid claims by the contractor that he was asked by staff to conduct the trial in less than optimal conditions.

Council’s general manager Ken Gainger has refused to explain why the contractor has not been given the opportunity to produce the best outcomes.

Contractor and garden maintenance operator Paul Sommers says despite ‘repeated’ advice that best results would be achieved by another treatment within a few weeks, he was instead instructed by staff to undertake sporadic sprays.

Questions put to the GM by The Echo were instead answered by Council’s infrastructure services director, Phil Holloway. He now backs steam weeding, despite questioning its effectiveness recently to Echonetdaily.

Mr Holloway said, ‘We are convinced that this weed-control method should be embedded into council’s ongoing weed-control program, so we are currently investigating the purchasing of our own equipment and the licensing and training of our own operators.’

‘We are confident that the elected council will support this initiative and provide us with the budget required to do this effectively,’ Mr Holloway said. He added the outcomes of the trial will be reported to council in February.

Bewildered

Mr Sommers told The Echo he is ‘bewildered’ why council staff would first ignore his advice on producing a best trial outcome, downplay the effectiveness of chemical-free spraying and then announce intentions to invest in the machinery themselves.

The technology used is manufactured by Australian company Weedtechnics, who claim there are currently over 80 chemical-free weed control projects in place across the country. The invention steams weeds with a patented nozzle, and has been taken up by councils across Australia to achieve chemical-free open spaces and parks.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Wardell landowners asked to support fire ant eradication

Nearly 900 Wardell properties require treatment for fire ants, but the eradication team needs permission from each landowner.

The Darling Muffs of May need your help to reach fundraising target

Raising money to support frontline services for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness has been the driving force behind the Darling Muffs of May’s fundraising this year.

Why does Iron Gates developer get another bite at the DA?

Locals, concerned residents and other parties were left in the dark for the first 15 minutes of the Iron Gates (Goldcoral Pty Ltd) Land...

Death and Dying expo May 25

On Saturday May 25, a free Death and Dying expo will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 10am-2pm.