'Losing battle' to clear Rocky waterways

WEEDING OUT THE THREAT: Cr Ellen Smith and Troy Svensen at Yeppen Lagoon speaking about water weed control.
WEEDING OUT THE THREAT: Cr Ellen Smith and Troy Svensen at Yeppen Lagoon speaking about water weed control. Allan Reinikka ROK201016awaterwe

WEEDS have taken over Rockhampton's waterways and the council is fighting a tough battle trying to rid the river systems of hyacinth.

Rockhampton Regional Council has taken to spraying four different lots of weeds on the water, trying to stop them from growing.

Councillor Ellen Smith said workers had been spraying the hyacinth on Yeppen Lagoon this week.

"They have done wonders really because up near where the road bridge was, it was quite thick there a couple of weeks ago and these fellas have been spraying it and trying to push it back,” Cr Smith said.

"It's an ongoing problem and I'm really concerned about the amount of hyacinth in the river because about 40 years ago it was that thick from bank to bank in the CBD that the birds were walking across it - and people are still talking about that.

"People are remembering those days when it used to be that thick and we don't want it like that.”

Cr Smith said when the hyacinth was let go at the barrage the salt water was supposed to kill it, but the weed could last for quite some time before it died.

"People with boats on the river have contacted me, they are concerned because the hyacinth can wrap around the anchors and it can sink boats, so the boating people tell me,” she said.

"We spray from the barrage up to Ramsay Creek and that is our area.

"From there we spray the western bank.

"But the problem we have now since de-amalgamation for two years, Livingstone council aren't spraying their side of the river and I'm calling on them to do something about it.

"They probably haven't got the resources to do it but we can make an arrangement with Rockhampton Regional Council where we spray and they contribute to it.”

Cr Smith said the river belonged to the State Government and was in fact the state's responsibility.

"(But) we feel obliged to spray because it does affect our residents, the different weeds along the river.

"The State Government don't give us any money at all for spraying, it's all in our budget and we don't get any grants or anything whatsoever for spraying,” she said.

"But the problem is that the Livingstone council isn't spraying their side of the river and we're fighting a losing battle.”

Topics:  livingstone shire council rockhampton regional council

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