Opinion: Poison-free weed management in Bassendean welcomed

Glad to see councillors champion safe, poison-free weed management in Bassendean.
Glad to see councillors champion safe, poison-free weed management in Bassendean.

Congratulations to our Bassendean councillors who have been supporting safe, poison-free weed management in our Town for the long-term protection of our children’s health and environment.

Cr (Bob) Brown’s successful motion requiring the council to write to Main Roads and ministers for Water and Transport to request an end to spraying glyphosate in our urban environment is another step in the right direction for the protection of our groundwater and vulnerable wetland and Swan river ecosystems.

The Town of Bassendean is fast becoming a local government leader in this area and it is just a matter of time before other local governments wake up to the foreseeable and preventable risks they are imposing on their communities.

Even Bassendean’s staunchest promoter of glyphosate, Cr (Mike) Lewis, makes a very good point on cost and one we hope he will take up as there are potentially millions of dollars in savings for our ratepayers by switching to steam from chemicals.

If the Town of Bassendean was to hire the EMRC’s steam weed equipment at reduced rates, as is being offered, over time billions of dollars could be saved in chemicals and contractor costs.

Even better, the Town of Bassendean could purchase its own steam weed equipment and save even more money for its ratepayers.

The 2009 Swan River Trust report warned of the impact pesticide spraying in drains and urban environments was having on our river systems, with clear recommendations for change.

Earlier in 2007, Stirling and Joondalup suffered 8000 tree deaths as well as groundwater contamination caused by the unlawful application of a poison in drains and sumps.

It’s important we learn from these experiences and take action now to reduce the risk of contamination, weed resistance and proliferation of super-weeds by keeping agricultural chemicals in the agricultural environment and out of our urban environment.

Councils and government agencies hiding behind the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s claim that glyphosate does not cause cancer will regret this cowardly position while 700 US litigants sue Monsanto for causing their cancers and while the World Health Organisations, International Agency for Cancer Research classifies glyphosate as a Class 2A probable carcinogen.

Jane Bremmer,

Alliance for a Clean Environment chairwoman, Bassendean