Armadale resident complains that the Water Corporation slow to remove weeds

John Penglase of Armadale looks at the weeds next to his property. Picture: David Baylis d429554
John Penglase of Armadale looks at the weeds next to his property. Picture: David Baylis d429554

ARMADALE resident John Penglase complained for two years about the fire risk overgrown weeds along Neerigen Brook posed to his property.

Dry wild oat towered over Mr Penglase’s 183cm back fence and he had serious concerns that if a fire started, it would rapidly spread to surrounding trees from neighbouring properties and put homes in danger.

Water Corporation staff recently came to cut the weeds, but only cleared one side of the brook.

‘They said it was too hard to access on this side,’ Mr Penglase said. ‘But you can get in there easily enough.’

A couple of days after the Water Corporation cleared the weeds along the one side of brook, a small fire, believed to have been caused by a match, burnt through about 30 meters of the cut grass and surrounding trees, before the fire brigade put it out.

Mr Penglase said teenagers often walked alongside the brook and smoked cigarettes.

‘They (the State Government) have got a big fire safety campaign going on at the moment and yet they don’t clear dry and overgrown weeds.

‘They used to come down, but for two years they haven’t done anything.’

When the Comment News contacted the Water Corporation last Wednesday, Perth regional manager Mike Andrews said in a statement the remaining weeds would be cleared the next day.

‘Neerigen Brook is a Water Corporation main drain,’ he said.

‘We remove weeds from 1.6km of the drain five times a year, including in October and November ahead of bushfire season.

‘The latest round of maintenance began on Friday, October 24 and will be finished today, Thursday, November 20.’

‘All weeds will be removed from the entire section of drain behind Marian Avenue.’

Mr Penglase and his wife, who have lived at the property for more than 40 years, confirmed the weeding had taken place.

‘We always keep the gutters clear to protect the house against fire, but we weren’t really able to do anything about the weeds because it’s not on our land.

‘I used to lean over and spray them myself.’

Mr Penglase said it took Water Corporation staff two days to clear the overgrown weeds.