Rural

WATCH: Source of bad smell in Maryborough found

KICKING UP A STINK: Paula and Howard Davis point towards the area where the strong smell of fertiliser is coming from in Granville.
KICKING UP A STINK: Paula and Howard Davis point towards the area where the strong smell of fertiliser is coming from in Granville. Eliza Wheeler

A SUGARCANE grower in Maryborough has admitted to stinking up the town- but for a good reason.

People living in parts of Granville, Tinana and Maryborough West have been trying to find out the source of a strong, rotten smell which has been filling their noses for the past two days.

Paula and husband Howard Davies have lived in Granville for 40 years, and said this was not the first time they had encountered an unpleasant scent.

"We had a dump across from us but that didn't smell too bad," Paula said.

"There's also the septic treatment plant down near Banana St which sometimes smells if the wind is wrong, but this smells different."

Paula said she believed the smell was a fertiliser called bagasse- which is made of sugarcane by-product and mulch.

"That's what it smells like to me," she said.

"We've smelt it mostly at nights for the past three weeks or so, but yesterday afternoon at about 3.30 it was really bad."

While there were many theories as to what the smell could have been- from burst sewerage pipes to oil drums, the source of the stench has been traced back to Jeff Atkinson, a sugarcane grower who is putting fertiliser on his crops for next season.

"Yeah that's me," Jeff said.

"We're putting bio-solids on the cane, organic manure, and it smells a bit off."

The producer said he had about 30 hectares to go on his property near Granville, and expected to be finished by Thursday.

"We do it once or twice a year but we try to catch the south-easterly winds so it blows away from town," he said.

"But that just hasn't been an option this year- it's probably better if people know where it's coming from."

After a bumper cane season, Jeff is now getting ready for another hopeful season next year.

"Yeah it's been pretty good this year and this is just part of it for us."

Topics:  fertiliser maryborough sugarcane



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