Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Plants poisoned at Chinaman's Island

The Eastern Foreshore Committee is at war. The committee believes someone has been poisoning native plants along the foreshore at Chinaman’s Island with trees, shrubs and reed beds dead or slowly dying.

FIONA BLICK February 4, 2014 3:46pm

“It is just plain vandalism and it is very disheartening,” President Wallace Bruce said.

“I am not going to work on the western end of Chinaman’s Island anymore; it is just a waste of time.

“Plants are being killed off without any regard to the environment.”

What is particularly concerning to Mr Bruce is the poisoning of whole sections of reed beds on the bank of Lake Mulwala.

“These bulrushes are part of the foundation of the bank and give it strength and stability and help prevent erosion,” he said.

“Not only has the vegetation been poisoned, the nests of the native Reed Warblers have also been poisoned and this toxin has gone directly into the water, killing and damaging everything in its path.”

Committee member Bruce McKean said Goulburn Murray Water did not allow spraying of any kind along the water’s edge.

“This job requires specialist equipment with environmentally friendly products, you can’t just do these things willy nilly,” Mr McKean said.

“If people have a problem with a certain plant or reed bed then we would encourage them to come to us and consult with us about appropriate measures to take; we can certainly come to an arrangement and trim trees or bushes and prune plants properly.”

Mr McKean said to stop this current vandalism the Eastern Foreshore Committee is looking at installing security equipment including movement activated solar lighting.

“This is a shame because if this needs to occur then the funding would come from Moira Shire and from the rate payers and we are a Section 86 committee of the shire,” he said.

“We don’t want to be spying on people but what can we do?”

Moira Shire’s Acting Director Community Bruce Connolly told the Yarrawonga Chronicle the poisoning of trees and naturalhabitats such as reed beds on crown or public land is an illegal offence.

“I would ask that if anyone has information about the damage of public property through poisoning that they contact the police,” Mr Connolly said. 

“Chinaman’s Island is crown land vested in Goulburn Murray Water as the land manager.  “The Lake Mulwala Maintenance Agreement between Goulburn Murray Water and Moira Shire Council provides the terms and conditions for the provision of maintenance services by Council. 

“Moira Shire works with the Yarrawonga Eastern Foreshore Committee of Management and Goulburn Murray Water to ensure the protection and preservation of Chinaman’s Island and will continue to provide support to the Committee.”

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