Mozzie grounds covered

Andrew Mathieson
GEELONG’S council has started work to install underground drains to eradicate a mosquito breeding ground outside St Leonards Primary School.
St Leonards residents welcomed the work to replace open drains outside the school, which they believed increased the risk of flesh-eating Bairnsdale Ulcer striking at the town’s school.
The Independent revealed the association’s concerns last September.
St Leonards Progress Association president Graeme Collins said he believed council was neglecting St Leonards because it had installed underground drains near car parks at the other end of Murradoc Road in Drysdale.
Association secretary Bob Hynes said Geelong’s council acted swiftly to replace open drains metres away from the school.
Work on the St Leonards drains started at the end of the school year.
“It just couldn’t be left as it was,” Mr Hynes said.
“It was pretty awful with the open drains in front of the school and the Bairnsdale bug around,” he said.
“But we got a pretty immediate response from council.”
Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which are linked to the infection.
The Bairnsdale ulcer almost certainly requires surgery after attacking cells and blood vessels.
Department of Human Services said at least one case of Bairnsdale Ulcer was reported in St Leonards last year.
Mr Hynes said the new drains would help reduce the risk of infection to children.
“There is still some open drains on the other side (of the street) but I would feel it’s going a long way to help,” he said.
City Hall has spent about $25,000 on works in St Leonards, including new pipeworks and paving to improve the town’s streetscape.
It proposes to carry out further kerb and channel works later in the year.
“We’re working hard with council to try and bring up to scratch, especially the entrance in our vision, which was one of the things that was identified that was lacking,” Mr Hynes said.
“The entrance to the town was pretty ordinary with the open drains.”