2003 January: Darling Downs Health Problems

However, further questioning of health officials in Brisbane reveals that 25 people were admitted to Darling Downs hospitals in the two years to June 2001 because of “accidental poisoning by or [from] exposure to pesticides” – a rate of admission three times the average for hospitals statewide.

And the cases just keep on mounting: Louise Skidmore, a Darling Downs farmer, lost $3000 when her organically grown lucerne was contaminated by chemicals sprayed by her local council, which has admitted liability. “It’s bloody annoying that you put in so much effort and this happens,” says Skidmore.