Weed­ing out best prac­tice

Eastern Reporter - - News - Laura Pond

GLYPHOSATE use sparked de­bate at last month’s Stir­ling coun­cil meet­ing.

A City re­port pre­sented at the De­cem­ber meet­ing rec­om­mended the coun­cil adopt a re­vised weed and pest man­age­ment pol­icy and pes­ti­cide use no­ti­fi­ca­tion plan.

But Cr An­drew Guilfoyle be­lieved there were is­sues with the City’s cur­rent pro­cesses, par­tic­u­larly re­gard­ing the use of weed killer glyphosate.

“The Health Depart­ment frame­work isn’t the be all and end all,” he said.

“Though there’s been no ma­jor breaches (of City pol­icy), I’ve seen many ex­am­ples of in­ci­dents I think ac­tu­ally are quite se­ri­ous.”

Cr Bianca San­dri said the City re­ported 18 in­ci­dents of non-com­pli­ance by con­trac­tors since 2016, in­clud­ing where glyphosate was be­ing sprayed at a school cross-coun­try event, although these did not breach Health Depart­ment guide­lines.

She urged the City to em­pha­sise its ex­pec­ta­tions for safe use to con­trac­tors.

Parks and sus­tain­abil­ity di­rec­tor Ian Hunter said the City was re­duc­ing its glyphosate use and in­creas­ing steam meth­ods.

Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion of the poli­cies gar­nered mostly con­cerned re­sponses, with peo­ple wor­ried about glyphosate use and the City’s rea­sons for us­ing it.

Many sought greater con­trac­tor com­pli­ance, trans­parency on spray­ing fre­quency and in­creased sig­nage ad­vis­ing of spray­ing. The mo­tion to adopt the pol­icy and plan was passed 8-6.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the City will pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on its web­site on best prac­tice pest man­age­ment meth­ods and why cer­tain meth­ods are cho­sen, and con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate re­ports and breaches.

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