Shire leads the way with steam weed­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

DOU­GLAS Shire is lead­ing by ex­am­ple with the trial of steam weed­ing tech­nol­ogy.

It has con­tracted Ku­rand­abased en­vi­ron­men­tal group Blue Hand Steam to work with coun­cil of­fi­cers to demon­strate its uses.

The aimn is to be able to stop us­ing chem­i­cal weed killers where pos­si­ble.

Blue Hand Steam is an off­shoot of a non-profit sus­tain- able en­vi­ron­ment group that sets up en­ter­prises to help the en­vi­ron­ment.

Its ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor, Ki­nan Lem­burg, says the group is in talks with most ofthe lo­cal con­cils but Dou­glas was the first to get in­volved.

Blue Hand and coun­cil’s co­or­di­na­tor of open spaces, Peter Lo­gan, turned up at Miallo State School to demon­strate the tech­nol­ogy and speak to the kids about weed con­trol.

They were in­vited by the school, as the chil­dren had a project to clean up a nearby site.

“It’s al­ways good for us to trial new tech­nol­ogy,” Mr Lo­gan told the

“And ob­vi­ously we’re a very green shire as well. We do use a lot of chem­i­cals for cost ef­fec­tive­ness, but it’s good to be open minded about ways to do things bet­ter.”

He said when it came to weed man­age­ment there were dif­fer­ent tools de­pend­ing on the par­tic­u­lar task. The steam weed­ing would likely have a role as one item in the depart­ment’s ar­mory.

“I think it would be very well suited to a lot of our open space ar­eas,” Mr Lo­gan said.

This weed­ing works by the steam rais­ing the tem­per­a­ture in­side a plant’s cells to the point where the cells col­lapse.

Mr Lem­burg stressed that steam weed­ing can be an al­ter­na­tive to those chem­i­cals some which are un­der an in­creas­ing cloud of sus­pi­cion, es­pe­cially glysophate in the pop­u­lar prod­uct Round Up.

“Peo­ple have been aware of the side ef­fects of chem­i­cals for a long time.

“WHO ruled in 2015 that some weed killers are prob­a­bly car­cino­genic.

“When you take ev­ery­thing into ac­count I say this is much more cost ef­fec­tive than chem­i­cals. It is very ef­fec­tive tech­nool­ogy. This has been in de­vel­op­ment for 15 years.”

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Coun­cil’s Peter Lo­gan (cen­tre), Blue Hand’s Ki­nan Lem­burg (far right) and Miallo State School chil­dren watch the steam weed­ing in ac­tion

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