Both ovals have existing kikuyu grass. The first stage of the project is to remove this grass. A herbicide called Wipeout Bio will be used - not Roundup - to remove the old grass. Wipeout Bio is approved for use in Australia. We only use it as per the manufacturer's directions.
Our use of any chemical (weedicide/ insecticide or fungicide) in the parks and reserves is sparing and targeted – and is the last resort where other control methods are not effective.
The initial spray at Bales Park was early in the morning on Friday 7 August and it was dry after two hours. Officers were on site at Bales Park and the spray was dry before the rain began. The second spray at Bales Park was early in the morning on Monday 17 August and once again officers were on site to inform park users about the spraying. The third and final spray at Bales Park is currently scheduled for Thursday 17 September at 7.00am, although this date is subject to change.
The ovals can be safely used after drying which takes up to 2 hours, however, to exercise further caution, we have decided to keep users off the ovals for 4 hours after the spray.
The spraying only occurs on a calm day. It is sprayed from a 30 – 40cm height off the ground, meaning it's directed so we can use the least amount possible.
Once the drainage and irrigation lines are installed, the ovals will have couch turf laid. This turf is more resilient in dry weather than kikuyu, and is generally more hardy and easier to maintain. All ovals that we have upgraded now have couch. For this process to work effectively, ie kikuyu to be replaced with couch, all kikuyu "runners" need to be removed and so spraying needs to occur.
The initial advice from our contractor was that the turf could be removed mechanically at Willoughby Park, but this advice has been revised. We need to spray on both sites. Willoughby Park will be sprayed after the construction site fence is erected, which is anticipated for Wednesday 9 September (revised from mid-August) and twice more in the following weeks.