Crit­ics round on Roundup

Melville Times - - News - Aaron Cor­lett

THE City of Melville is mon­i­tor­ing con­cerns about the chem­i­cal glyphosate, which is used in the weed killer Roundup.

The Melville Times was tipped off about use of the chem­i­cal at Point Wal­ter Re­serve by a res­i­dent, who raised con­cerns about its use where chil­dren play.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion has clas­si­fied glyphosate as prob­a­bly car­cino­genic but it is still ap­proved for use in Aus­tralia.

A land­mark law­suit in the US in Au­gust saw a jury find chem­i­cal gi­ant Mon­santo li­able for caus­ing a school grounds­man’s can­cer from his ex­po­sure to the weed killer.

City act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Marten Tiele­man said the coun­cil used a va­ri­ety of ap­proaches to weed man­age­ment and th­ese in­cluded hand weed­ing, slash­ing, brush cut­ting and her­bi­cide ap­pli­ca­tions such as glyphosate, to man­age more than 200 parks and re­serves, and 800ha of open pub­lic space.

“Our com­mu­nity tell us they want clean and well­main­tained parks, re­serves, nat­u­ral ar­eas and pub­lic open spa­ces,” he said.

“In or­der to achieve this, the City uses the (named) tech­niques and strate­gies, of­ten in com­bi­na­tion, to en­sure both prac­ti­cal and ef­fec­tive long-term out­comes.

“Her­bi­cide ap­pli­ca­tions are used when it is safe to do so and where other weed con­trol meth­ods are not fea­si­ble or cost ef­fec­tive.

“All rel­e­vant staff and con­trac­tors are trained in the safe and proper ap­pli­ca­tion of those her­bi­cides and ad­here strictly to best prac­tice man­age­ment in ac­cor­dance with the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions, in a safe and re­spon­si­ble man­ner.”

Mr Tiele­man said the City was aware of re­newed con­cerns about the use of glyphosate but was guided by Fed­eral reg­u­la­tory ad­vice from the De­part­ment of Health and the Aus­tralian Pes­ti­cides and Ve­teri­nary Medicines Author­ity in re­la­tion to its use.

He said the City would con­tinue to use glyphosate un­til al­ter­na­tive ad­vice was pro­vided by Fed­eral Govern­ment agen­cies.

Ear­lier this year, Al­liance for a Clean En­vi­ron­ment con­vener Jane Brem­mer urged coun­cils to sus­pend the use of glyphosate in pub­lic places.

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