Map above showing extent of this 'plantation' located within Tarra River Proclaimed Water Supply Catchment. More of the plantation lies outside the Catchment. For full details of all of Hancock land lieing within this catchment click here.
Tarra River Catchment (between yellow lines) showing extent of plantations within catchment (numbers eg 76 refer to the year of plantation establishment). Approximately 90ha appear to have occurred in 1976 (plantations within red line). Plantations established in 1981/2 (`~200ha) were most likely established with a concoction of Amitrole (Weedagol T.L. Plus) and (Gesaprim 500) Atrazine may have been sprayed. In 2002 scientists in the United States found that Atrazine at levels as low of 0.1part per billion altered hormones in frogs. Since then Atrazine has been found to have the same effect across a range of animals. 200ha would probably have been sprayed with the Atrazine (4 l/ha/Amitrole 7l/ha) mixture. Totals 800 litres Atrazine, 1400litres Amitrole). The highest risk years for drinking water quality would have been between 1976-8 & 1982-4. It appears that the plantations established in 1981/2 lie outside of the Yarram offtake. However, how many people pump water directly from the Tarra River for drinking water?
Prior to September 1976, it is highly likely that aerial application of 2,4,5-T @ 1.1 litres a hectare occurred. ~90ha would have been aerially sprayed with 2,4,5-T in 1975 south of the Grand Ridge Road. One could concur that 90ha of pine plantations in Tarra River were aerially sprayed with 2,4,5-T in 1976. The areas marked in red show likely areas where 2,4,5-T would have been used.
Total amount used 1976 would have been 99L mixed with 4500 litres of diesel. How much of this ended up in the Tarra River?
Plantation establishment in the early 1980's may also have used atrazine/amitrole, hexazinone also likely to be used.
2,4,5-T spraying Tarra Valley National Park in Yarram Water Supply Catchment Tarra Valley National Park - Blackberry Spraying. Letter received from Mr O’Brien from the Department of National Parks requesting authority to spray blackberries along the Tarra River a portion of the area to be sprayed being a proclaimed water catchment area. It was stated that various restrictions would be enforced against spraying close to the stream and the cleaning of equipment used to spray. 2,4,5-T is the material to be used at a dilution of 1:600. MINUTES OF THE ONE HUNDRETH AND NINTH MEETING OF THE PESTICIDES REVIEW COMMITTEE 21/2/75.
APM spraying Parish of Bulga (A) (1) Letter dated 21st and 23rd April received from APM Forests Pty Ltd, advising plans for the use of 2,4,5-T to control noxious weeds in various areas of Budgeree, Bulga and Callignee. The Secretary advised Mr Pollock that approval could not be given until all information had been considered. Mr Pollock has contacted the Secretary by telephone and said that in these instances the Coy. Had no option but to spray because a direction from the Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction Board had been received which required the spraying of blackberries and brambles by a certain time. Mr Jack said that this was a regular operation which was carried out each year and could conceivably be planned ahead and the committee notified. Dr Christophers said what should happen now was for APM to make a general application for control of noxious weeds and having regard to the hazards which might be entailed, notify the committee when the project will be carried out. Decision - To accept offer from Mr Jack that he would discuss the matter, along these lines, with Mr Hall of APM. MINUTES OF THE ONE HUNDRETH AND TWELFTH MEETING OF THE PESTICIDES REVIEW COMMITTEE 27/6/75.
Rough map showing houses and caravan parks that may pump water directly from the Tarra River (area marked within yellow lines). Perhaps 60 houses and two caravan parks could pump water from the Tarra River (100 people). All of these residences lie downstream of where 24,5,-T was sprayed - as does the town of Yarram. Perhaps 40 residences lie dowsntream of where Atrazine and Amitrole were sprayed in 1981, however this spraying appears to have occurred downstream of the Yarram offtake..
Map of plantation boundary covered by LEGL93-96. Approximately 380ha. This covers a small portion of Hancock's land in the Tarra River and Macks Creek catchments.
Herbicides Used by Grand Ridge Plantations - Strzelecki Ranges and Gippsland Victoria
|Herbicide||Label Rate max as kg/ha||Used to control||Euc/Rad||Notes||Application|
|Clopyralid||2.55||Woody Weeds||Radiata and Eucalypts||Highly Toxic/Potential Ground water Contaminant||aerial or ground|
|Glufosinate Ammonium||1||Woody Weeds||Radiata||aerial or ground|
|Glyphosate||3.6||Herbaceous and woody weeds, noxious weeds||Radiata, Eucalpts and Custodial|
|Haloxyfop-methyl||0.13||Annual and Pernneial Grasses||Eucalypts||Carcinogen||aerial or ground|
|Hexazinone||4||Woody Weeds||Radiata||Ground Water Contaminant||Aerial, ground, spot|
|Metsulfuron-Methyl||0.06||Woody Weeds, Noxious Weeds||Radiata, Eucalyptus and Custodial||Potential Ground Water Contaminant||Aerial, ground or spot|
|Sulfometuron Methyl||0.6||Annual and Perennial Grasses and broadleaf weeds||Eucalyptus||Potential Ground Water Contaminant||Aerial or Ground|
November 2001. Tributary of Tarra River. Inside remnant Cool Temperate rainforest.
November 2001: Non-plantation Eucalyptus Regnans in the headwaters of tributary of Tarra River, within Hancock plantation boundary.
Hancock Watch site visit October 2001: This plantation is between 2km-4km south-east of Baloak on the Yarram Baloak Road. This is a pine plantation established in 1981 and 1976. Most of the plantation takes in 7-8 tributaries of the Tarra River. A portion of this plantation in the south west remains under natural vegetation. The most westerly tributary of the Tarra River in this plantation contains cool temperate rainforest. Access to this rainforest area was made via an unnamed track on the plantations’ most easterly boundary. 1981 established pine plantation on reasonably flat slopes dominates the headwaters of 4 branches of this tributary. Regrowth blackwood and ash dominate the ridge heading into the rainforest gully. This area was selectively logged probably 50-60 years ago and some older stumps are apparent. The gully head is dominated by Blackwood, mountain ash and Dicksonia Antartica tree ferns. After about 200 metres, this gully joins a larger tributary of the Tarra River and a tributary from the east. At this junction, a small island is to be found with a couple of Myrtle Beech trees on the ‘island’. The island is formed between the eastern trib and the main trib. About another 5-6 myrtle beech trees were found on ridge line on the western side of the main tributary, in close proximity to the western tributary. Ash species are found further up this ridge probably of an age of about 40-50 years. There may also be more cool temperate rainforest further up the main tributary and down the tributary. Vegetation dominating the eastern tributary, near the rainforest appeared to be silver wattle - so obviously there must have been some massive disturbance in the not so distant past. There were also some older Ash trees possibly 60-80 years old. More investigation needs to be carried out at this site. There may also be cool temperate rainforest in the next gully heading south. Access into this area can be made via Retford Road.
November 2001: Rainforest gully surrounded by Eucalypts (in background).
November 2001: Photo showing cool temperate rainforest. Myrtle beech in background. Numerous beech trees were identified along this tributary.
November 2001: More Myrtle Beech rainforest inside Hancock plantation boundary.
‘A Report on the Tarra River Catchment (Yarram Waterworks Trust) 1970’ p6
“The catchment is situated on the southern slope of the South Gippsland Highlands with the off-take weir on the Tarra River about 9 miles NW of Yarram at R.L. 421 feet” . . . p11 “. . . From the weir the water travels through a nine mile long pipeline first to the service basin at Devon North, then on to the 150,000 gallons water tower in Yarram . . . the maintenance of a good summer flow is essential . . . p12 thr rocky and boulder strewn stream bed keeps transported material in suspension. In the absence of a reservoir at the intake this has the detrimental effect on the nine mile pipeline . . . the occasional high turbidity readings are inescapable. . .” p10 “. . . The erosion hazard in the catchment is generally low. The soils are Jurassic sediments, which are the most common, have good structure and depth, and absorb moisture readily. This explains the absence of any form of erosion, excepting landslips. . . Landslides and slips happen during every above average wet winter. Most vulnerable to this type of erosion are the cleared, steep sided valleys and the high and steeply cut road batters . . .”