City to tighten protocol on glyphosate use

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The City of Joondalup will further strengthen its protocols on the application of glyphosate, following concerns raised by members of the community about its potential health impacts.

Joondalup Council voted to implement a range of changes to improve its integrated approach to weed management.

Glyphosate is approved for use in Australia by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA); an independent statutory authority with the responsibility for regulating agricultural and veterinary chemicals in Australia.

As of June 2019, the APVMA advised that it remained satisfied that products containing glyphosate can continue to be used safely according to label directions.

Under the new measures adopted by the Council:

  • Marker dye will be used with all glyphosate applications across the City;
  • Glyphosate will not be used within play spaces on City parks and reserves, within 50 metres of schools, established childcare and community facilities (hired by playgroups);
  • A ‘no spray’ verge list will be developed in which property owners, childcare facilities and schools can register to have the verge(s) adjacent to their property exempt from chemical weed treatment subject to:
    • the property owner maintaining the verge and keeping it weed free
    • property owners to register on an annual basis. The City will notify schools and childcare facilities of this register.
  • The City will continue to undertake weed control trials, both chemical and non-chemical, as new products and technologies become available;
  • An improved notification process will be set up where residents can be advised of upcoming scheduled chemical weed spraying activity and actual completed weed treatments;
  • Glyphosate use advisory signage will be left in place for a minimum of 24 hours, following the application of glyphosate.

In addition, a dedicated page on the City’s website will be set up, outlining information and maps on the City’s intended chemical treatment schedule and completed chemical treatment schedule.

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said the City had worked hard to find a solution to community concerns, while continuing to effectively manage weeds in the City’s parks, natural areas and urban landscaping.

“The health and safety of residents, staff and visitors will always be the City’s primary concern,” he said.

“It is hoped this raft of new measures provide comfort and reassurance to those members of the community with concerns about glyphosate use.

“The City manages 533 hectares of bushland, many of which are recognised as having local and regional significance, more than 370 parks and 588 hectares of reserves – as well as a substantial number of urban landscaping areas.

“More than 90 per cent of weed control within the City is managed using nonchemical weed control methods.”

The City is currently undertaking a 12-month trial of thermal weed control (steam) at Elcar Park in Joondalup as well as Esplanade Herbicide at three locations. It has undertaken many weed control trials over the past decade.

The City of Joondalup Weed Management Plan will be reviewed in 2021-22 and updated to include the outcomes of various trials.