ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0344 Weston Creek Residents Against Aerial Spraying

Call Number

HMSS 0344

Collection 

Weston Creek Residents Against Aerial Spraying

Date Range

2001-2002

Quantity

0.09m (1 manuscript box)

Access Conditions

open

Copying conditions

with attribution

Related Collections

 

Weston Creek Residents Against Aerial Spraying (WCRAAS) was established in early 2001 by a group of concerned Weston Creek citizens for the prime purpose of stopping ACT Forests from aerial spraying the pine forest on Narrabundah Hill immediately adjacent to residential areas of Weston Creek.

The aerial spraying was intended as a measure of weed control and the group was concerned that the intended method (aerial spraying), and the cocktail of chemicals to be used, would be a danger to the health and wellbeing of nearby residents. 

WCRAAS used a range of tactics to bring this issue to public attention and to encourage the local authorities to abandon this particular weed control measure. These tactics included calling public meetings, writing to the relevant authorities, lobbying politicians and political candidates during an election campaign, providing publicity to the cause through the media, and forming alliances, particularly with environment groups who were also very concerned about the dangers to the community, and to the environment, that the proposed aerial spraying threatened.

The turning point in the campaign was the involvement of the Commissioner for Environment ACT who agreed to investigate the options which ACT Forests had for weed treatment adjacent to residential areas.  The Commissioner’s report, ACT forests :options for weed treatment adjacent to residential areas a report by the Commissioner for the Environment, ACT,. issued in May 2002 agreed with WCRAAS that aerial spraying close to houses was dangerous.  The outcome was that ACT Forests adopted other weed control strategies for forests close to residential areas, including Narrabundah Hill.

This collection is an example of grass-roots community action and demonstrates how such action can alter the course of events. It also forged links within the Weston Creek community which were later called upon during the fires of 2003. Ironically the pine forest on Narrabundah Hill was completely destroyed by those fires.

This archive predominantly contains the papers put together by the late Mary Sexton (1938 – 2011) who was one of the principal members of WCRAAS.  It was Mary’s wish that they be preserved as an example of “community action”. 
 

BOX LIST

Folder 1:              The Successful Outcome

The Report of the Commissioner for the Environment ACT on Options for Weed Treatment Adjacent to Residential Areas. It also contains WCRAAS’ reaction to that report and the publicity given to the successful outcome of the campaign.

Folder 2:              WCRAAS Meetings

Records of the formal meetings of the group, including those with the Commissioner for the Environment ACT.

Note:     Public meetings, including those run by the Weston Creek Community Council are recorded in Folder 3 on involving the community.

Folder 3:              Involving the Community

This folder contains documents relating to involving the community (mainly residents of Weston Creek) in the campaign. A grass-roots exercise.

Folder 4:              Correspondence

This folder contains correspondence associated with the group’s activities. Some documents leading to that correspondence have also been included.

This folder is in two parts:

       Folder 4A             2000 to May 2001;

       Folder 4B             June 2001 onwards.

Folder 5:              Media Campaign

This folder contains press media clippings about the campaign and briefing documents which supported the broader coverage through other media outlets.

Folder 6:              Background Material and Key Documents

This folder mainly contains technical background papers and advice used to develop the campaign. It also contains key documents and related reports which surfaced during the campaign.