Letter: A weedy issue

The Shire is drowning in a sea of blue; this deceptively innocent little flower has made our Shire home and is rapidly spreading out of control. Botanical name is Ageratum Houstonianum; commonly known as Billy Goat Weed.

Little is known about this noxious weed, according to Bellingen Council I was told several months ago that it is not toxic to stock and is low priority for control.

Wrong, there have been numerous reports from local farmers of cattle deaths as a direct result of ingesting this weed.  

Seeds are spread on the wind and by slashing roadsides. It is difficult to control; the product Metsulfan is recommended and this can be purchased at Norco Rural Store Bellingen. I again recently approached Council with concerns about the spread of Billy Goat Weed.  

Council has not replied to my request to address the problem. So farmers beware, we need to take matters into our own hands. Council receives income from our rates which one would suppose should control noxious weeds in the Shire; perhaps if Council relied on livestock production for income something would quickly be done about this issue. So we have another weed invasion to deal with together with the spread of Fireweed, Parramatta Grass and numerous other species.  

The ongoing issue relating to the unsealed section of Martells Road from Briarfield to the Pacific Highway is again a major problem.  The road should be closed until further notice as it is not only a death trap but the corrugation and potholes cause untold damage to vehicles.  Briarfield residents, for the most part, have to now travel through Bellingen to reach the Pacific Highway in safety. Council, this is not good enough, answers and action please.

Finally on the subject of our ‘Heritage’ town clock, our deceased ‘tick tock’ I rest my case, after many years I’ve given up on this, no doubt to Council’s relief.