1964 December – 1969 December: Seaspray Foreshore. Pesticides: Malathion, Fenthion, DDT, Dieldrin

Chief Health Officer

17/3/70 Pesticide Aerial Spraying (Mosquitos)

On 24 December 1969, I reported that pesticides had been dissemiated by aerial spraying at two resorts in the Eastern Health Area. These were as follows:

1. Eagle Point Camping Area and Paynesville foreshore: 48 acres using “Baytex” at a rate of 4 ounces to the acre. The spraying was carried out by *** Aviation of Benambra at the request of Bairnsdale Shire Council.

2. Seaspray Foreshore: Baytex 5 ounces plus Malathion 4 ounces to the acre. The operation was carried out by Farmair Pty Ltd of West Sale Drome at the request of the Seaspray Foreshore Committee.

It would appear that there is no control over such operations against what are merely nuisance insects. The Department of Agriculture has no powers under the Aerial Spraying Act, nor is it proper that it should interfere in what is a Health problem…


Aerial Spraying: Seaspray Camping Area.

Date of Spraying: 29/12/69
Time: 6.30am
Substance: Baylene 5 oz per acre, Malathion 4 ounces per acre
Volume per acre: 2 gallons
Reason for spraying: Mosquitos

Letter to Department of Health 1969

I further recommend that a letter be sent to the Director of Agriculture as follows:-

“Complaints have been made to this Department that aerial spraying operations against nuisance insects have been carried out recently at Seaspray in Rosedale Shire and Eagle Point in Bairnsdale Sire.

In the former case, the spraying was carried out during a 20 mph wind storm, with resultant dispersal of the spray throughout the township.

Indiscriminate spraying of this nature can lead to danger to human health, pollution of streams, lakes, water supplies and to the killing of beneficial and harmless insects, with resulting disturbance to the ecology of the area.

The Commission of Public Health would be pleased to know if permission for these spraying came from your department…

Aerial Spraying

Shire of Rosedale.

Seaspray Foreshore Committee.
Location Seaspray
Area – at the rear of the Township. Area strictly limited.
Material used – 25% DDT Miscible Oil
Rate 1 1/2 pints in 100 gallons of water per acre.
This was brought to the notice of and approved by the Indepartmental Committee on Pesticides.

Gippsland Times. Monday Nov. 22, 1965

Rosedale Shire makes clear…

No responsibility taken for air spraying

No responsibility will be accepted by Rosedale Council as the result of aerial spraying.

Council will make this clear to the Seaspray Foreshore Management Committee.

It will also write to the Municipal Association.

Council stated this followed a letter from Mrs W.J. Macafarlane, Seaspray, protesting at aerial spraying over town.

She said that following spraying last year, vegetables were covered in a milky white substance.

Bird life was also killed.

Representation had been made to the committee without effect.

Had faults

Cr. R Gerrand agreed that while continued aerial spraying had its faults, spraying at Seaspray had done some good in regards to mosquitoes and flies.

21st October 1965

Letter from Health Inspector to Department of Health

Shire of Rosedale:

As you Department is aware, aerial spraying has been taking place prior to the Summer season at Seaspray and at Loch Sport when a mixture of D.D.T., Dieldrin, and Malathion was used at Seaspray and a proprietry line known as Bayter at Loch Sport.

Complaints have been received against this practice, stating that vegetable leaves were burnt by the spray, and that vegetables ready for picking were obviously contaminated, and that spray was entering water tanks.

Recently I have been approached by a chemical manufacturing firm whose representative is seeking a contract to supply a Diazinon based insecticide (NEDCID 20P) for aerial spraying of much of 90 mile beach including the resort subdivisions, areas of oil and gas exploration, and some off shore islands (outside of the shire I believe) and the representative is seeking my approval…

13th October 1965

… I contacted Mr *** by phone on 4/10/65 (Ballarat) and he stated that he had never done any spraying of seaside resorts.

He had been approached on several occasions, but after laying down certain conditions, such as complete evacuation of humans from the area, the enquiries had not been pursued…

On 13/10/1965, I rang Mr *** who stated that he would spray an average of about 100 acres per year which would be mainly for regular customers:

Seaspray foreshore area.
Latrobe Valley Water and Sewerage Board farming area (including about 12 houses)
Loch Sport (on edge of Lake Victoria)
Caravan Park at Yarram
Eagle Point Reserve (Shire of Bairnsdale).

He also does spraying of odd areas and the maximum acreage in any one year has been 400.

Camping areas would be sprayed about 1 week prior to Christmas when only a few people would be on the site.

Usually spraying is 2 pints of DDT to the acre and 2 ounces of Malathion.

He has also used Baytex

Chief Industrial Hygiene Officer.

Gippsland Times Thursday, September 9, 1965 – Page 3

Spray inquiry at Seaspray?

An investigation should be made into the toxic effects of aerial insect spray used at Seaspray’s foreshore at Christmas.

Rosedale Shire council’s health inspector, Mr Keity Roberts’said this at council’s August meeting.

He was commenting on a Health Department letter requesting information about the spraying carried out without council’s knowledge.

He believed the quantity of toxic chemical was “very small”but as he was not in a position to determine its effect, some investigation should be made.

“This recommendation is made in the belief that the type of insecticide at these concentrations will not be harmful but as a precautionary measure because roof catchment is used for water supplies.”