From this weeks ECHO

Byron mayor, GM in heated exchange over steam weeding

A steam weeder similar to the ones used in Byron Shire. Photo


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One response to “From this weeks ECHO

  1. Nadia

    There are less then a hand full of bush regeneration chemical free sites on Byron Shire and Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare is one of them. Although we work on the Dunes the chemical free aproch that we use can be aplyed in any plant comunity. We target climax enviromental weeds, in case of the dunes Bitou Bush and exotics vines. I never receive a email or phonecall from the contractor doing the draft for an Integrated Weed Management Strategy, which cost up to $30 thousands. So if you place a contractor that do not have experience on chemical free weed management offcourse the strategy will not work. If the consultance visited all chemical free sites on the area and discussed with the people working on the grounds how are they doing, them yes there is a chance of some practical strategies to come forward.

    Them the council staff purchase a steam clean machine for another $38 thousand. I read the “trial report” from staff to the Counselluers regard using a steam weedding machine prior to the purchase. It wasn’t a tril as it had no consistent methodology of reporting or followp. Also a steam cleaning machine is very diferent of a steam weeding machine when come up to the strength of the heating mechanisms.

    It really hurts as a rate payer to see $68 thousands to be miss spended. At least the cleaning steaming weed machine could be donated to the people that clean play grounds and toilets, however the budget was to improve chemical free weed management and have being wasted.

    Of course chemical free weed control will not work at the eyes of Council staff because they do not belive in it from a culture perspective and they have being train to depend on herbicides by education institututions. Once the war on weeds aproach move out of the way, them pehaps they will be alble to see a diferent road of sustainable weed management.

    I am not impress my self with as in the past 6 years we have ask for support and have recive bits and pieces: 6 signs and 25 metres of fence. Yes our site is in Crownland because in 2010 that was the only place was offered after community raise concerns regard aerial spray on North Head and demand a area for a new aproach to be implemented. That was the born of Byron Shire Chemical Free Land Care. The north boundary of the site, a stretch of 25 m by 100 m is Council land maneged by Council and is at the front of the beach side were a recently 25 m of fence was build from left over posts and wire from another dune care site. However the only reason we are there is because I went to a council meet and report to counsuller that the staff have told as that we have enter council land with not permission. A motion was pass and we were allowed to work on that streep of land. As it has no phisical boundary between crowland and council land, we did not know we were removing Bitou Bush on Council Land, so when I was told by Council staff to move, I ask can we work on this area. I was told not, because they want ot spray there. That was when I went to speak with the counsellor.

    Recently we have being offered another site of Bitou Bush in Ocean Shore (3000 square metres), what we said yes to protect more land from being sprayed. Once we look the site, we notice ithe Bitou Bush is growing all over the back yard of people properties and it would be very controversial to have it sprayed . When we ask if we could have some of the recentely alocated $100 thousands grant to spray Bitou Bush from Byron to Tweed, we were told that that funding was only for spraying, not for chemical free contractors.

    I am trying to feel hopeful, however when we see “the greening” carrying a spray pack full of carcinogenic herbicides I feel that here are a log awy to go.

    Thank you Dom for all your amazing work.


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