Mosquitoes set to bite hard

Opposition local government spokesman and Mandurah MLA David Templeman said the State Government should get serious about the threat and stop hiding behind local government.

‘Its time for Health Minister Kim Hames to give the issue the attention it deserves,’ he said.

‘Dr Hames needs to declare this a public health risk and provide adequate funding for a range of measures to deal with the issue.

‘West Australians are sick of going outside in the summer, getting eaten alive and being left vulnerable to Ross River Virus.

‘The State Government is responsible for public health, not local councils. ‘

Mr Templeman said $1 million a year was a pitiful response to a public health risk that could leave West Australians exposed to the debilitating Ross River Virus.

‘I have raised this issue in the WA Parliament several times since 2008 and each time my concerns have fallen on deaf ears,’ he said.

But Dr Hames said funding for mosquito management had more than trebled in the past four years, and would be used to increase the frequency of current strategies, fund research and help local government manage mosquito populations. He said additional funding would expand resources available to the Contiguous Local Authority Group to increase aerial applications of larvicide, the purchase of chemicals, and source reduction initiatives such as drainage fill and the removal of mosquito habitats.