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Council urged to control water hyacinth problem

Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell, Alumy Creek resident Fiona Leviny and Shadow Primary Industries Minister Duncan Gay inspect the water hyacinth problem at Alumy Creek. A few years ago.
Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell, Alumy Creek resident Fiona Leviny and Shadow Primary Industries Minister Duncan Gay inspect the water hyacinth problem at Alumy Creek. A few years ago.

WATER hyacinth in Alumy Creek will become a problem unless control measures are taken soon, says a farmer who has seen the weed come and go over the years.

Bob Vickers, whose property is on the bank of the creek where it widens between Grafton and Southgate, says the plants are starting to thicken near the creek banks.

"It's OK now, but soon it's going to start spreading over the water," Mr Vickers said.

"The weeds-people at the council need to get out here with a concerted spraying program to stop the problem early."

Mr Vickers said the council had done a good job controlling the pest before, but could become complacent.

"They went on an all-out spraying spree and that cleaned the creek out," he said.

Mr Vickers also supported flushing the creek with saltwater by opening the fabri-dams where the creek entered the Clarence River.

"I know this would get a bit of saltwater in the creek and there would be a bit of whinging from farmers who need the water to irrigate," he said.

"That said, the council has to look after the creek for the whole community and shouldn't have to put the care of two or three farmers above everyone else. There's a whole eco-system which included the breeding of fish and wildlife they have to think about too."

Mr Vickers said confusion about who was responsible for the creek was also an issue.

"Council has control over the banks and flood mitigation, Maritime controls the tidal creek and farmers have to control weeds on their properties," he said.

Clarence Valley Council's acting director environment planning and community, Dave Morrison, agreed the issue of responsibility had caused confusion.

"I'm not sure what the situation is at the moment; I'll have to talk to the guys about it and get back to you," he said.

Topics:  clarence valley council, grafton, southgate, water hyacinth

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