The NSW Forestry Corporation has scrapped controversial plans to aerially spray herbicides over a significant portion of the Gladstone State Forest. Earlier this month the Corporation notified nearby residents of their plans to apply herbicides via helicopter to three compartments of the forest, to control weed growth. Residents in the nearby Kalang area raised concerns aerial spraying could see the chemicals drift onto their properties, and run into nearby waterways. The NSW Greens called on the Forestry Corporation to abandon the plans altogether. Poor weather conditions meant the aerial spraying could not go ahead in the two weeks allocated. General Manager of the Forestry Corporation’s Hardwood Division, Dean Anderson, said they have now decided to apply the herbicides on the ground.”Weed control is essential and must take place urgently to prevent weeds becoming entrenched,” he said. “We have managed to engage a skilled and qualified contractor who is available to complete the work on a one-off basis using a more traditional on-ground application method.” Mr Anderson said they still have confidence in aerial spraying as herbicide-application method. “We remain confident in the effectiveness and safety of modern aerial spraying, which is highly accurate, but we will use the on-ground method in this instance to allow more time to speak with the community about aerial spraying,” he said. “We will not rule out the use of aerial spraying in the area in the future.” An information forum is planned for coming weeks on the weed-control program.