General News

25 January, 2024

Concern over damage from aerial spray

CONCERNS have been raised over aerial spray planes flying through residential areas, after Walkamin local Arrascel Tournier’s car was damaged from chemicals landing on the bonnet.

By Ellie Fink

ABOVE: Arrascel Tournier’s car bonnet has been blistering out of nowhere as a result of aerial spray.
ABOVE: Arrascel Tournier’s car bonnet has been blistering out of nowhere as a result of aerial spray.

What Arrascel thought was just a bit of mist falling out of a nearby tree onto her car has caused significant damage, with the paintwork on the car’s bonnet noticeably bubbling.

Living near two major farms, Arrascel has watched aerial spray planes go over her house many times before, but this time the plane had accidentally dropped chemicals onto her car as it passed overhead. 

At first, she wasn’t sure what had happened, but as the car’s paint continued to blister, she could see a spray pattern all over the left panels of the vehicle and rearview mirror. 

The windshield was also damaged, with splatters of chemicals visible especially when she drives at night.

Arrascel says she didn’t know who to contact about the issue.

“We contacted the farm my husband works on, which is not far away, and asked if they spray, and they said no, so we called our insurance,” she said. 

“But because it was holidays, we were unable to get a hold of our insurance. Finally, we were able to get a hold of them, made the claim and were told to make a police report.”

She then took to Facebook to ask who the owner of the plane was, hoping to tell the operators what had happened to prevent it from happening again.

No one knew what the pilot, plane company, or farm it was, but many commenters shared their own stories of aerial spraying and how that has impacted their homes, vehicles and businesses. 

“It’s hard to make anyone who is spraying accountable – just ask the people from the rose farm in Mareeba,” one commenter said. 

“My parents owned the farm. We were unable to get any type of compensation. The spray occurred while my parents were in the greenhouses, and they ended up becoming very sick because of it,” a commenter replied. 

“We can’t drink our rainwater here on Ray Road. The crop spraying planes fly so low over our house when they are spraying the crops nearby … so this doesn’t surprise me at all,” another person said. 

“That is seriously NOT OK – follow it up!! If you have a food garden, that is very concerning,” another commenter said.

“I was driving in Arriga when my truck got sprayed by this same aircraft, an orange chemical that left white residue etched into my paint and glass. I washed it off as soon as I got back to town, but it was too late. The smell was so strong, it caused me to have a migraine,” a comment read.

While being concerned for her car, Arrascel is also concerned about where else the spray could have landed. 

“I know it’s a business, but you really have to consider other people’s health and wellbeing. This is only a car; it is replaceable, but if it goes into our bodies, it would be harder to fix,” she said. 

“Maybe we need to start being more careful and filter our water and boil it again and again.

“You have to be mindful of these things now.”


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