Mozzie war

01. 772NEWS

• Maylands Peninsula Golf Club president Rob Graham. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

BAYSWATER city council is set to call in an election pledge of $130,000 from the Barnett government to zap mozzies along the Maylands foreshore.

The council has been inundated with calls from residents and sports clubs about a surge in the blood-suckers.

A March 6 public forum on the issue attracted about 70 itchy locals.

Mayor Terry Kenyon received a rough ride from some ratepayers who accused the council of playing pass-the-blame with Belmont city council, across the river.

Maylands Peninsula Golf Club president Rob Graham says the mozzies make life “horrendous” for club members.

“They tend to congregate at the 10th and 17th hole,” he said.

“We have two afternoon games during the week on Wednesday and Sunday and they are hit the hardest.

“Over the past year, the number of mozzies has reached epidemic proportions—it’s horrendous.”

Other clubs affected include the Maylands Tennis Club and Maylands Bowling Club, next to the river on Clarkson Road.

Council management has recommended the hiring of another staffer and purchase of heavy machinery, which is says will enable it to double wetlands management to 12 weeks a year.

The council wants the government to foot the estimated $130,000 bill.

“Write to the state government requesting that they make good on their election promise and allocate $130,000 to the city of Bayswater as part of the promise for mosquito control,” a council committee recommended.

Before the March 9 election Liberal Maylands candidate Sylvan Albert—a Bayswater city councillor—appeared in a photo shoot with health minister Kim Hames pledging $800,000 a year to work with councils to control mozzies.

Maylands councillor Sonia Turkington says the council should fund the program if the government doesn’t.

“I sincerely hope that the government funds any request we may make,” she says.

“But if they don’t we should use our own budget to tackle the problem—it’s making life a misery for residents who live on the foreshore.”

Tackling mozzies is made problematic by their long flight range which takes in several municipalities.

Higher than normal tides and record summer temperatures over the past three years have created optimal conditions for mosquito breeding.

Bayswater is ranked as low-risk by the WA health department because of its management plan and the low rate of mosquito-borne diseases reported.

It is ranked 107 of 140 areas assessed.

Council will vote on the mozzie plan Tuesday night.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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