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Council weeds out glyphosate use

31 July, 2019Posted in: Environment
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Playground equipment with person demonstrating weed control method

With the use of glyphosate-based products coming under greater scrutiny, Wingecarribee Shire Council is set to conduct its own trials into weed control alternatives.

Council’s Manager of Open Spaces, Recreation and Building Maintenance, Greg Bray said ongoing trials included non-chemical based alternatives.

“We’re keeping an open mind and to date we’ve investigated products that use vinegar, acetic acid, pine and clove oil as their key ingredient,” he said.

“However the reality remains that while more organic products are slowly coming onto the market, many of them are still not as effective as traditional chemical herbicides.

“This also means that while we’re continuing to look at other options, we haven’t completely eliminated the use of glyphosate-based products at this point in time,” Mr Bray said.

Often associated with the herbicide ‘Roundup’, glyphosate has been used for more than 40 years in Australia and can be found in more than 500 products nation-wide.

The use of glyphosate is registered and regulated for use in Australia by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).  In 2016 the APVMA approved products containing glyphosate and concluded the product was safe to use, provided they are done so as per the label instructions.

“Based on the APVMA’s recommendation Council continues to use glyphosate-based products, albeit in limited quantities, and only by staff trained in its proper use,” Mr Bray said.

“However when we do use the product we also take additional precautions including assessing the current weather conditions and erecting appropriate signage.”

“Although the APVMA has found no grounds to reconsider the use of glyphosate, Council understands that some residents continue to hold concerns over its use,” added Mr Bray.  “With this in mind we’re committed to continuing our investigations into natural or non-chemical based weed control alternatives and at the same time reducing our reliance on any products containing glyphosate.”

For more information regarding the use of glyphosate, visit the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website at www.apvma.gov.au.