A group of early-risers have condemned the City of Mandurah after workers sprayed herbicide just three metres from where they were having coffee, and refused to stop.
Gail Whitfield said two workers were spraying weeds on the Mandurah Terrace path and near the foreshore about 8.30am, on Monday.
“We asked them not to do it while we were drinking our coffee...but they said, ‘We’ve got to do it now’,” she said.
Mrs Whitfield said she called the city to report the incident and the receptionist said she was the second caller to report the spraying that morning.
Mrs Whitfield’s friend Kevin Price, who has Parkinson’s Disease, said any exposure to chemicals was not good for him.
“I don’t need to be ingesting that,” he said.
One per cent is still poison and the vaper coming off it is atrocious.Kevin Price
“We are still getting vapour off it, 40 minutes later. They should not be spraying when people are around.”
Mr Price said a worker told him there was only one per cent of chemical in the herbicide.
“But one per cent is still poison and the vapour coming off it is atrocious,” he said.
A Gloria Jeans spokeswoman said she also asked the workers to stop spraying, but they declined.
City of Mandurah chief executive officer Mark Newman apologised for the incident and said workers sprayed as early as possible to minimise inconvenience.
“The City of Mandurah prides itself on providing great customer service,” he said.
“Unfortunately on this occasion we have offended some customers and management of some local businesses. We apologise for this.
“One of our supervisors will be in touch with these businesses to see if we can work out a better time to conduct weed control in this area.”
Mr Newman said herbicide application was generally undertaken early in the morning when there are fewer numbers of people in this area.
“Staff are trained to spray only in suitable environmental conditions when wind speeds are low and the risk of spray drift is minimised,” he said.
“Spraying is undertaken using a small backpack sprayer with a long spray wand which enables us to dispense the chemical within centimetres of the ground and directly on target without the risk of drift.
“The conditions were deemed suitable for this morning’s weed control activities.”