Top dressing furore

BRIAN OLIVERSound Telegraph

The top dressing of Warnbro Recreation Grounds by the City of Rockingham with organic material to prevent the spread of a pervasive sting nematode in the turf has got up the nose of Warnbro residents neighbouring the park.

A City spokesman said about nine complaints, including a letter with 25 signatures, had been lodged with the local authority after it carried out works at the Currie Street reserve on Monday, December 23.

Coran Gardens resident Rob Richardson, a former City councillor, said he organised the signatures on the letter after he claimed he and many other residents were negatively affected by the works.

“The wind was blowing fairly strongly and the dirt was coming up so thick, you couldn’t actually see through it,” he said. “None of us knew it was happening.”

The letter sent to Rockingham City Council by Mr Richardson requested the City consider the use of granulated fertiliser, and roofs in the area be cleaned out at the council’s expense.

Other residents in the street told the Telegraph they were concerned about the health of children and pets after the works.

The City spokesman said the organic matter used met Australian standards and was recommended by agronomists as a “natural, sustainable, low-risk way to improve soils”.

“The contractor started at 7am in ideal weather conditions for the works. The work progress was checked on site at 11am and at that time weather conditions were still fine, with a light breeze. The spreading application work was near completion when the first complaint was received by the City at 2.30pm, coinciding with a sea breeze,” he said.

“When we received the complaint the contractor was contacted to cease works.”

He said the City apologised for any inconvenience caused by the top dressing and residents who were affected should submit all details to the council for forwarding to its insurer for evaluation.

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