2015 February: Nerrina State Forest (Vic). Health concerns about recent spraying on bush tracks

Walker believes pets sick after chemical exposure

Feb. 4, 2015, Ballarat Courier.

PEOPLE using the Nerrina forest tracks are concerned for their pets and their own health from sprays they believe were used in the area.

Tristan Burke said he exercised most days and had never felt shortness of breath until he walked the paths with his mother in the past fortnight.

“I had breathing difficulties and had a chemical feeling in my mouth,” Mr Burke said.

He said his mother’s dogs had also had reactions, including diarrhoea, vomiting and skin infections.

Mr Burke said his mother was also getting sick.

“She wouldn’t have gone there and exposed herself or her dogs to the chemicals if she knew it was there.”

He said it was more than a week after they had experienced reactions that they saw a pink spray through the area and realised chemicals were being sprayed again.

His mother had been walking the dogs most days in the area off Glenisla Road, in the Nerrina State Forest, with Mr Burke sometimes going with her.

“We won’t be going there for a while now. She liked the area because there was water for the dogs to swim and have a drink.”
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Mr Burke said it was only in the past couple of days they had seen one sign, which was in the middle of the sprayed area and not at any entrance to the tracks or beginning of the sprayed area.

Different sections of the forest are managed by Ballarat City Council, the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning and a catchment authority, with confusion about which authority manages that specific area.