Friday 20 February 2009

Breed mozzies and get bitten with a $400 fine

The Cairns Regional Council, who I proved were too slow to act in the first month of the Dengue outbreak back in December, will now start issuing $400 on-the-spot fines if they find breeding mosquito larvae on a property.

Queensland Health has taken legal advice from Crown Law, that will allow local Councils to encourage residents to keep their property free of mosquito breeding sites.

"The $400 fines will be issued where evidence of mosquito breeding exists," Council CEO Noel Briggs says. “This means at the discretion of the Health Officer, if mosquito larvae is found, a fine will be issued.”

“This stringent measure is really a final alternative for Council to clamp down on those residents who are not paying attention to the many public warnings that have been out there for months,“ Briggs said.

Now whilst I agree with this action, I have to say that the CEO and Council owe some answers to the Cairns community:
  • Why did they fail to act when presented with specific information on 3rd December last year about Gatton Street, North Cairns?

  • Why did Council's Senior Environmental Health Officer Gilbert Farrow lie to his manager when questioned last Friday, saying that he never had a conversation on December 5th with the complainant?

  • Was Council therefore negligent and allowed hundreds of mosquito to breed in Gatton Street, North Cairns?

  • Will Council reprimand, terminate or demote this senior Council officer because of his blatant inaction, causing the danger to hundreds of local residents, at what we now know as the 'Ground Zero' of the Dengue outbreak? They should at the very least slap him with with a $400 fine. Then just slap him again.
Today, another 5 cases were added to those who have contracted Dengue, up to 407 in Cairns, with another 66 in Townsville. Queensland Health can also issue on-the-spot 'health orders', which also carry a penalty of $400.

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