Council poisons pond, charges nearby family for the work
A once thriving suburban billabong has been turned into a stagnant swamp devoid of birdlife after a southeast council sprayed it with poison.
To add insult to injury, a family living around the lagoon has been sent a bill for $200 to pay for the work.
Logan City Council sprayed the Cornubia pond with a herbicide in August, turning the once pristine pond into a stinky marsh.
Council refused to name the poison used but said it was to kill a plant called Salvinia molesta and was applied in accordance with permit conditions and the manufacturer's directions.
Council wrote to residents in May notifying them drone surveillance had detected a weed in the dam.
The letter told residents it was their duty to get rid of the weed but enclosed a quote of $200 for council to send in a team to spray at a cost of $200 which would be passed on to the resident.
It gave the landowner a month to get rid of the weed and then in August set a "final notice" for a bill of $200.
Last week, the council issued residents a final notice to pay the $200 and said if it was not paid "a charge would be imposed on the land".
Honeysuckle Court resident Russell De Leacy said a council team, dressed in full protective suits with respirators, sprayed the pond twice.
They told him the poison was not harmful to the native bird life.
"Since the spraying, the bird population has dropped dramatically and I have only seen one water hen and it used to be a wildlife paradise," Mr De Leacy said.
"And now the council has issued us with a threat if we don't pay, even though I believe the weed is spreading from council's own land in (nearby) Wuduru Rd, which is upstream from my property and feeds the lagoon."
The council said Salvinia molesta was a restricted invasive weed under State legislation and its removal was a council priority.
"When Salvinia molesta is detected, a property owner has the option of securing or performing their own removal or accepting Council to provide the service in accordance with a quotation," the council said.
"In this instance, the property owner requested council to do the weed removal.
"Routine inspections are carried out following any treatment by council and to date there is no evidence of any off-target impacts in this location."
The council rejected suggestions the weed was spreading from a nearby upstream property infested with Bacopa lanigera not Salvinia molesta.