1997 November: Pesticide spill Perth Belmont Race Course

November 1997: The importance of correct management cannot be understated. In November 1997, a spill of 600 litres of insecticide occurred at Belmont Park racecourse, situated on the banks of the Swan River. The spill was not immediately reported and was only discovered after over 4000 black bream fish were killed, representing approximately 30% of the rivers fish stock. This repeatable tragedy was due to the lack of preparedness or emergency response of racecourse staff who could have prevented the spill or at least reduced its effects. The lever to prevent the valve leaking on the 600 litre mobile tank was inadvertently left open and slowly drained into a stormwater drain near where the tank was parked. No emergency authorities were alerted and the insecticide was transported straight to the river via the drain. Similar events happen every day, fortunately of a smaller scale