24.5 C
Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

Steam weeding trial ‘steamrolled’ says operator

Latest News

SCU celebrates alumni achievements with awards

A group of Southern Cross University graduates who have made extraordinary global achievements in research, community building, healthcare and environmental issues have been acknowledged with the 2020 Alumni Impact Awards.

Other News

Local photographer finalist in National Portrait Prize

Lismore-based photographer R J Poole is one of eighty finalists from over 3,000 entries in this year's Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Red Cross offers additional bushfire grants

Australian Red Cross is opening a final round of support grants for people affected by the bushfires who are suffering extreme financial hardship.

$1500 council fee rebates for farmers

NSW Farmers commends the NSW Government on its delivery of a rebate scheme for NSW and local government fees and charges, following its $500 million commitment in the State Budget last year.

Take a ticket

Council’s Draft Complaint Handling Policy is on exhibition! It’s a document that, if drafted carefully, could provide the public with confidence that Council take complaints seriously and accountability will apply when a complaint is found to be true.

Getting the right stuff in your bins in the Tweed

Tweed Council is asking residents to be more careful with what waste they put in which bin – a surprising amount of the area's refuse, both recycling and landfill, ends up in the wrong receptacle.

Lens on Lennox photo competition is open

Entries are now open for the Lennox Head Lions Club's annual photographic competition, on the theme of 'Lennox Head, Then and Now'.

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

Red Cross offers additional bushfire grants

Australian Red Cross is opening a final round of support grants for people affected by the bushfires who are suffering extreme financial hardship.

The return of the prodigal son

Gallery DownTown, the annexe of Tweed Regional Gallery, is presenting a new exhibition by regional artists.

Rotary Downunder Baton handed over at Byron Bay

The Rotary Club of Byron Bay recently took the Rotary Downunder Baton to the most easterly point of Australia as part of its national journey. As well as being the national celebration of one hundred years of service by Rotary in Australia, the theme for the centenary is 'Rotary says no to domestic violence'.

Interview with Jean Kittson

Comedian, writer, and social commentator Jean Kittson has the ability to distil complex ideas into commonsense. Jean is one of the national treasures in conversation with Mandy Nolan and Fiona O’Loughlin at No Eggs for Breakfast, a comedic chat themed around life beyond fertility! It seemed remiss not to ask Ms Kittson on her take on the debacle that is federal politics and gender equity.