1985 January: Harcourt Fish Kill. Pesticide: Xylaquat contaminated with Dioxins.

Xylaquat was used for many years by the Rural Water Commission, however during 1981-5 it was used when the Xylaquat was contaminated with Dioxins. Xylaquat use in the Commission’s Eagle Channel at Harcourt, led to a fish kill at the nearby Ottwood Park Trout Farm in January 1985. An investigation led to the conclusion that the Xylaquat was contaminated.

Xylaquat was manufactured by the Shell Company. The contamination included the pesticides, Aldrin, Dieldrin, DDE, TDE and DDT. Contaminated Xylaquat was also used at Numurkah, Shepparton, Kyabram, Tongala, Numurkah, Rochester, Swan Hill, Lake Boga, Mildura, Merebin


18 April 1985

Contamination of Purchased Herbicides

The Minister was advised that the herbicide Xylaquat supplied by Shell Australia, and used by the (Rural Water) Commission in its channels for weed control purposes, has been found to be contaminated by Dieldrin and other pesticides. Remedial action is being taken to protect consumers by warnings and by disposal of contaminated sediment from a Rural Water Commission channel at Harcourt. Investigations are continuing on other possible sites and negotiations are proposed with the supplier with a view to recovering associated costs and any subsequent claims faced by the Commission.