Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Residents’ water pleas ignored

Kim Booth, Press Release

“It is appalling that Gunns have apparently refused the reasonable request of the Peters family to desist from aerial spraying in the vicinity of their drinking water supply catchment,” Mr Booth said.


Kim Booth MHA

Wednesday, 13 SEPTEMBER 2006


As Yet Another Pristine Catchment Is Converted Into Plantation

The Tasmanian Greens today supported Blackwood Creek resident, Allan Peters and his family, as they raise concerns over aerial spraying with forestry chemicals of land adjacent to their drinking water intake, despite attempts to negotiate with the forestry company involved.

Greens Shadow Plantation Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MHA said that this regrettable incident once again exposed as a sham the so-called Code of Conduct that is meant to exist between forestry operators and their neighbours, as it does nothing to protect either communities or their water catchments.

Mr Booth explained that once Mr Peters had been notified that the adjacent plantation, which is upstream from his property, was to be aerially sprayed, he had contacted the company Gunns, to request that the spraying was not done aerially as it could impact on his family’s water supply, but that his request was ignored with the spraying occurring yesterday.

“It is appalling that Gunns have apparently refused the reasonable request of the Peters family to desist from aerial spraying in the vicinity of their drinking water supply catchment,” Mr Booth said.

“What is the point of these so called Aerial Spraying Codes of Conduct and Forestry Codes of conduct when at the end of the day neither the community nor their water supplies are protected?”

“It is outrageous that despite Mr Peters’ attempts to explain to the company involved that the plantation is in his water catchment from which his family draws their drinking water, and therefore it was vulnerable to spray drift from aerial spraying and seepage, the company just went ahead and ignored these genuine concerns.”

“Page 89 of the Forest Practices Code clearly states that ‘Aerial spraying should not be conducted where there is risk of drift into streamside reserves’, so why was Mr Peters’ pleas for consideration ignored?”

“The Peters family have collected their drinking water from Westerns rivulet at Cluan for 12 .years, while their domestic supply comes from Garcias creek.”

“Westerns rivulet is one of the cleanest creeks in Tasmania and is filtered at its source through marshes at the Great Lake, and Mr Peters has conducted extensive water testing and analysis of the rivulet water which confirms it’s purity, but that is now threatened by this action by the spraying.”

Gunns advise that they have used the following chemicals Lontrel, Verdict and Hasten during this spraying incident.

“A cocktail of chemicals were sprayed of Lontrel, Verdict and Hasten. A brief web search on Verdict reveals that Verdict is toxic to fish, platypus and small birds. It is of the chemical family Aryloxy-Phenoxys, which in turn is a sub family of aromatic carboxylic acids which include chemicals such as 24D.”

“Surely a families right to safe drinking water should take priority over the profits of forestry chemicals.”

“The government must act to protect our precious water resources from chemical contamination, particularly in the upper catchments”

“Clean, safe water is one of the earth’s most precious commodities and there is no way that Gunns can guarantee the Peters family that their water is now uncontaminated.”

“With the latest state government water tests revealing chemical contamination of most water bodies in the state it is time that the government now realises that their legislation is facilitating pollution and failing the community,” Mr Booth said.

Attached: Notification by Gunns, 6 September 2006 (1page) – hardcopy only.

Photos taken by local resident John Izzard:

1. Westerns Creek, showing plantation just established, approx March 2006.

2. Helicopter spraying property adjacent to Westerns Creek, from which the Peters family access drinking water. Photo taken 12 September 2006.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Claire Tubb

    September 29, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Maybe who ever wrote this should come to Blackwood Creek and i will show you the block Mr Peters owns and where they sprayed. Mr Peters water comes from above the spray area his home is not as close as been made out. I take water from below the spray sight and have no problem with Gunns spraying. People shouldnt believe everything they read.

  2. David Obendorf

    September 16, 2006 at 2:33 am

    For me, it comes down to the proposition that maybe this company, the government and most sadly the majority of Australia don’t really care!

    Brenda you are correct the hubris of being so big and pushy, makes for arrogance, shamelessness and corruption.

    Sadly for this planet – the only place in the Universe we know of where life exists – it will have to get a lot worse before personal fear cuts in!

    Go see Al Gore’s real-time documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and you’ll understand how difficult change is for those in DENIAL.

    “Business As Usual” is STILL too convenient!

  3. Brenda Rosser

    September 14, 2006 at 10:07 am

    Well, ‘TurnOffTheTelly’ you have to see this whole process from the point of view of a transnational corporation (TNC).

    TNCs must maximise profit. That’s why they exist and they are required to by law and for their shareholders. They do this through a number of ways:

    * getting really big,

    * using the power of governments to ensure they get their way the vast majority of the time,

    * tapping into compulsory savings and taxation of local populations to fund most of their costs (such as land purchase, for instance),

    * monopolising key resources such as land,

    * by speeding up the production process,

    * leaving and moving on when local people and resources are exhausted or dead.

    So, in answer to ‘TurnOffTheTelly’s’ question. Why do they use chemicals? To speed up the production of the trees.

    Simple, really.

  4. CRUD

    September 14, 2006 at 8:49 am

    QUICK paul,get steve kons up to western creek to have a glass of this lovely water with a bevy of admiring examiner fotogs snapping pictures for the next edition of the gunns weekly.

  5. Justa Bloke

    September 14, 2006 at 5:37 am

    Of course the emperor has no clothes, but as long as he’s the emperor it doesn’t matter.

    This is reality, not a fairy tale, and in reality the little child who tells the truth gets blown to bits while the worshipping crowd applauds the emperor for keeping them safe from the nasty world of fact.

    The trees have to be sprayed because they realise a profit quicker that way. People have to be sprayed because they are much less profitable.

    We are definitely in Australia, not an emerging Nazi state, and you can tell this by the colour of the uniforms (apart from the naked emperor).

  6. Turnoff Thetelly

    September 14, 2006 at 4:43 am

    Can someone enlighten me – why do the trees have to be sprayed?

    Are they so environmentally barren that they can’t grow without chemicals?

    Why would a government allow their constituents to be subject to poison when it would be possible to spray from the ground and be less hazardous to people?

    Are we in Australia or an emerging Nazi state?

    Is Lennon real or has he been whisked away and replaced with an enemy robotic lookalike?

    Reportedly his wife works in the health industry. Does she have any influence over him?

    Someone, please, tell the emperor he has no clothes on!

  7. Just Frank

    September 13, 2006 at 7:25 pm

    Oh dear Tasmania,

    the plantation industry trashing our clean green image our Tasmania Brand resulting in ‘mental torture’for the local community.

    Anti-Tasmanian news due to negative reasons again? .

    At the same time we read this story involving a Mrs Gay, how strange it happened to Mrs Gay.

    … “What if my little boy had been playing outside? I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and I could still taste it,” Gay said of Thursday’s incident.

    She said she had been relaxing on her wooden swing at her home of six years … when droplets fell from the sky. A helicopter, whirring overhead, was attempting to spray the cane field next to her home.

    “I had never seen them spraying over my house,” Gay said.

    And this one telling us about ‘mental torture’ from another spot on Earth:

    …”We’ve suffered from mental torture upon knowing that even our roofs, where we use to catch rain, are also contaminated with che-micals… of course you don’t care about us because what’s more important for you is to earn dollars,” Decon added.

  8. Pete Godfrey

    September 13, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    As an addition to this press release it should be noted that also on Page 89 of the Forest Practices Code of Tasmania 2000 it is stated:

    “The person responsible for chemical application will ensure that chemicals do not enter water bodies, unless the chemicals are specifically approved for direct application to waterbodies. Techniques such as wick wiping, and spot or shrouded strip appication should be considered next to watercourses.”

    This is a “will” statement and on Page 2 of the same code it is stated.

    “Will statements are to be applied in a practical manner to forest operations covered by the Forest Practices Act.”
    So this act of spraying chemicals not registered for direct application to waterbodies is a direct breach of both the Forest Practices Code and the Forest Practices Act 1985.

    The following information comes from the Material Safety Data Sheets for the chemicals directly from the Dow Chemicals web site.

    Verdict Haloxyfop R-methyl ester plus Diethylene glycol monoethyl ether

    Eye irritant, repeated exposure cause liver toxicity in rats

    Highly toxic to fish
    Moderately toxic to other aquatic organisms

    Lontrel 360

    Clopyralid as monoethanolamine salt + isopropyl alcohol +polyglycol 26-2

    Minimise exposure to isopropyl alcohol

    Exposure over 400 ppm eye, nose and throat irritant, Incoordination, confusion, hypotension, hypothermia, circulatory collapse, respiratory arrest and death.

    This chemical is highly toxic to fish and moderate toxicity to other marine organisms. The MSDS states that it is rapidly hydrolized to haloxyfop acid which has low toxicity to fish, birds, marine organisms and earthworms.

    But how long is rapidly when it drifts straight onto a stream?

    It is hard to see these chemicals being registered for direct application to water bodies, if they are I don’t want to drink any.

  9. David Mohr

    September 13, 2006 at 11:42 am

    Wake up Tasmanians! This is just the tip of the iceberg if the pulp mill gets up.

Leave a Reply

To Top