Critics round on Roundup
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.