Funds to fight midges


Joondalup Weekender - - News -

AN en­vi­ron­men­tal group was given $50,000 on Tues­day for a pilot project to re­duce midge num­bers in the Yellagonga Re­gional Park.

The Friends of Yellagonga project will as­sess the ef­fect of float­ing reed is­lands on the midge and mos­quito pop­u­la­tion.

It will in­clude the use of so­lar ar­ray, aer­a­tion pump and weekly wa­ter nu­tri­ent test­ing by Edith Cowan Univer­sity.

Friends of Yellagonga chair­man Kevin McLeod said the in­stal­la­tion of the ex­tra so­lar unit would in­crease the vol­ume of wa­ter fil­tered to 73 mil­lion litres per year.

“The pumps op­er­ate dur­ing day­light hours all-year round,” he said.

“The area of sedge wa­ter plants that will be act­ing to pu­rify the wa­ter will be dou­bled from 88sq m to 176sq m. In ad­di­tion, the wa­ter flows back to the lake through a sand bed sev­eral me­tres thick. If chem­i­cal con­trol of midges is no longer re­quired, there are po­ten­tial sav­ings of at least $42,000 per year.”

Kingsley MLA Jes­sica Sto­jkovski said swarms of midges was a top con­cern of Kingsley and Wood­vale res­i­dents. “We have such beau­ti­ful parks and fa­cil­i­ties to en­joy and of­ten our evenings are ru­ined by these swarms in the warmer months,” she said.

“It is great to have a lo­cal group like the Friends of Yellagonga al­ready work­ing to mit­i­gate this prob­lem.”

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Stephen Daw­son said the grant was part of the Lo­cal Projects, Lo­cal Jobs pro­gram. “These grants are for im­por­tant, grass­roots ini­tia­tives and programs that will make a big dif­fer­ence to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

It would help the Friends of Yellagonga to im­ple­ment “in­no­va­tive rec­om­men­da­tions” in line with the ECU draft re­port on the re­view of the midge mon­i­tor­ing pro­gram from 2000 to 2015.

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