Weeding out best practice
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.