Bassendean Council defers decision on glyphosate till May

The council has deferred a decision on the use of glyphosate on hard surfaces.
The council has deferred a decision on the use of glyphosate on hard surfaces.

BASSENDEAN Council has decided to defer making a decision on whether to rescind a motion to end glyphosate use on hard surfaces until May, when a new report on the herbicide is released.

Council was recommended by officers to rescind the previous motion that was passed in April 2016, amend allocated funding of $130,000 for steam weed treatment and initiate the use of glyphosate on hard surfaces.

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Deputy Mayor Mike Lewis, who chaired the meeting, put forward an amendment to defer Council’s decision on glyphosate use until May, once the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) report into alternative weed control trials was released.

According to an officer report, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority advised the Town it completed its assessment of the International Agency for Research on Cancer report and other assessments that glyphosate did not pose a cancer risk to humans.

Tenders submitted by steam weed treatment contractors were approximately 93 per cent higher than the funds available and exceeded the budget.

The difference between steam weed and glyphosate use at public open spaces was $91,101 or approximately a 473 per cent increase in predicted expenditure.

Resident and Alliance for a Clean Environment spokeswoman Jane Bremmer, who made an address to Council, said the report was “ridiculous”.

“You have made a decision that is not appropriate for our children and health,” she said.

“My family was poisoned by spraying in 2010 and 2011…they are still suffering from the effects.

“Do not put cost ahead of public health.”

Town of Bassendean operational services director Simon Stewart-Dawkins said there was no room in the Council budget for staff to hand-pull weeds.

“When you have domestic weeds at home, you can easily hand weed but as a local authority, we have to consider other options,” he said.

“The report outlines we trialled steam weed treatment at Success Hill Reserve with varying levels of success.

“Those weeds have not been killed…there have been an increase at the Reserve in recent years.”

In November 2016, councillors have deferred their decision on glyphosate use and steam weed treatment in the Town and voted for workshops to educate council on weed management.