West Wimmera Shire Council has joined sixteen other high risk and flood-affected councils across rural Victoria that have received funding to combat the spread of mosquitoes this summer.
Recent heavy rainfall and floods across the Wimmera have led to ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes that spread disease and high numbers of mosquitoes will continue over the next couple of months across rural Victoria.
Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, and Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) – all serious, infectious and potentially life-threatening in the case of MVE.
West Wimmera Shire Council has accepted nearly $75,000 from Department of Health and Human Services funding to initiate mosquito control activities and help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
Activities will focus on:
- Control through minimisation, prevention and education
Activities will focus on public areas of water in the Shire that see higher human populations, either through visitation or local residents.
At this stage, a number of sites have been identified for larvae testing including:
- Glenelg River at Harrow,
- Lake Wallace and associated inlet drains,
- Goroke Recreation Reserve Dam and associated inlets,
- Lake Charlegrark,
- Lake Bringalbert,
- Lake Ratzcastle,
- Apsley Wetlands, and
- Serviceton Reservoir.
General Manager for Infrastructure, Development and Works, Robyn Evans, said
"Whilst obviously this can't be an all-encompassing program, the targeted areas should provide maximum bang for buck for our Shire."
Ms Evans said the program will have a low environmental impact and a positive community health outcome.
"This is a great example of "the Victorian State Government supporting local initiatives for the betterment of rural communities."
Everyone can do their part by taking simple precautions such as making sure there is no stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed around homes. Other simple actions can be promoted through the "Beat the Bite Campaign", advertised on social media and Council's website. or visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/beat-the-bite.
For information about the education program or other details about the mosquito control program, contact Nicole Wearne, Environmental Health Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, or via an online customer request.