Party pooper mozzies put bite on families

PARTS of Rockhampton are in the grip of a mosquito infestation.

The problem is so bad many families in the Glenmore area have become prisoners in their own homes.

For the Tomkins family at Belmont Road, voracious mozzies have sucked the life out of all outdoor activities.

"We don't go out at night,'' mother of two, Mandy Tomkins said.

"You wake up in the morning and there are 5000 mozzies on the front door screen.''

Authorities are aware of the problem and fear it may spread further.

On Saturday the Capricorn Mosquito Management Committee, representatives of Fitzroy River Water and the community, inspected the freshwater reaches of the river from Laurel Banks to Aligator Creek.

Capricorn Mosquito Management Committee chairman Tony Williams, said it followed numerous complaints from residents in the Glenmore area.

He said the mosquito hordes were being caused by the prescence of the weed, hymen achne, which was growing in plague proportions along both banks of the river.

He said mosquitos used the weed to breed in.

"Hymen achne was introduced by the DPI (Department of Primary Industries) for cattle fodder,'' he said.

"Since then it has entered the river.

"It's a weed that breaks up easily and can float down the river. For that reason it's very difficult to stop.''

Mr Williams said the unlikely event of a flood would fix the problem, which as yet, did not have a solution.

The option of poisoning the weed may threaten wildlife and fish and contaminate drinking water.

"There's no cheap solution.

"It could cost $1 million, it could be more.

"It's certainly something we would need State or Federal Government grants or funding for.''

Another Belmont Road resident Gary Harp, who went on the river inspection on Saturday, said Livingstone Shire had co-ordinated a forum last week on the issue.



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