THE management of midges in Cockburn waterways has been hampered by sloppy staff who for years have been wrongly recording numbers.
A report by Edith Cowan University’s mine water and environment research centre says the council’s handling of outbreaks over the past 18 years is littered with “weaknesses” and “too many errors”.
“There are mistakes in the data from simple transcription errors (where parameters have been obviously swapped) to errors in decimal places to missing results,” researchers found.
The report also revealed Cockburn is only spraying midges at three lakes—Yangebup, Bibra and North—despite receiving complaints from locals near 11 other waterbodies.
There have been 309 complaints lodged since the council established its midge complaint register in 2007.
Almost half are from residents living within 800 metres of Yangebup Lake.
Aaron Butler lives across from the lake and says it gets so bad he can’t open his door.
“We BBQ inside,” he laughs bleakly.
“They come in through the air con and it’s really gross,” wife Ashley chimes in.
South Lake local Anthony Giles jokes about asking the council to replace outside lights with purple mozzie zappers. It’s a real issue here,” he says.
“I had some friends from Kalgoorlie stay one night and they left the window open and the ceiling was black. There were thousands of them.”
by BRENDAN FOSTER