1980’s: Moyhu Valley/Ovens Valley.

In the early 1980’s my health was affected by both OC pesticides and dichlorvos. We moved out of our polluted home and our health improved. Then, in 1985, we moved to the Moyhu Valley near Wangaratta. It was then that my interest in pesticide pollution began. I developed multiple chemical allergies and my son came out in rashes when he took a shower.

I began to investigate my own water supply. Although the state laboratories told me that the supply was safe, I changed to tank water and my health improved until aerial spraying with 2,4-D contaminated it. Since then I have only drunk spring water and my health is all the better for it.

I kept on making enquiries and found that those drinking from Boggy Creek and the King River in most cases suffered disease and ill-health. Wangaratta’s water supply is drawn from the King and Ovens Rivers, both of which have a catchment along kilometres of farms growing tobacco, hops, grapes and fruit. In many cases the crops are grown to the actual river itself and often steeply sloping to the water. There are also dairy and cattle farms to the north-east which have been quarantined because of high chemical residues. For many years, tests carried out by bodies such as the EPA, State Forests and Lands and the Rural Water Commission have shown fluctuating levels of cyclodienes in the Ovens and King Rivers but the all clear signal has been given time and time again. p87/88 Quick Poison Slow Poison. Pesticide Risk in the Lucky Country. Kate Short 1994.