Wangaratta tumbleweed intrusion could soon be solved

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR: Michelle and her son Logan Parisi, 19, have been bombarded by tumbleweeds in Wangaratta. Picture: MARK JESSER

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR: Michelle and her son Logan Parisi, 19, have been bombarded by tumbleweeds in Wangaratta. Picture: MARK JESSER

BIG suction devices and extra bins have been floated as ideas to deal with Wangaratta’s “tumbleweed” intrusion.

Wangaratta Council held a meeting on Thursday after residents in Bella Vista Estate spent months dealing with the influx of the native grass, known as hairy panic.

Resident Michelle Parisi said it first swarmed her home in December and wind stirred another build up.

“I’d prefer tumbleweeds over a fire, flood or dust storm,” she said.

“The first few times you walked out it was funny.

“The weeds flew around like snow and it was that thick, but then you get annoyed because you can’t get out the front door.

“I'm not going to lose sleep over it, but it can be annoying.”

It is believed the dried grass rolled in from a nearby paddock.

Ms Parisi said she hoped council or the CFA would help manage the problem.

“Surely, there must be thousands of them,” she said.

“We just need some help getting on top of it, they are very hard to get, or pick up.

“It’s really bizarre and I just can’t see how it's safe.”

Communications and marketing manager Andrew Chuck said a letter would be sent to residents and landholders.

“We haven’t got the ability to do much in the way of enforcement with this one,” he said.

“One thing suggested was we could use suction equipment on the street sweepers to help get rid of it.

“Bins are another possibility, it is one thing we spoke of this morning but we are not sure if it’s able to be organised or not.”

Meanwhile, the CFA considered a build up of the dried grass around houses a minor fire danger for homes, particularly when it congregated around pilot lights and water heaters.

Wangaratta fire station operations officer Trevor Logan said they were working with council and residents should try spraying it with water to make it compact.

“It’s not uncommon at this time of year, in this instance the land it is coming from is usually turned into hay and slashed before summer,” he said. “I don’t believe that has happened this year.”

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop