Continued use of glyphosate in Bassendean sparks inquiry


Renee McLennan
Renee McLennan

THE ongoing use of glyphosate in Bassendean has triggered a report to identify where the chemical is still used.

The Town of Bassendean has not used glyphosate to treat weeds on hard surfaces since April, when the council resolved to ban use of the herbicide.

Following a council meeting last month, the Town of Bassendean will look into glyphosate usage in the town and will write to other agencies known to use the chemical.

Main Roads confirmed it sprayed glyphosate on the main shared path along the train line.

Cr Renee McLennan, who proposed the motion, said the risk these continued practices presented to residents was “unacceptable” and did not comply with the intention of the April council resolution.

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“The potential risk that contact with the chemical continues to impose on residents and animals is of ongoing concern, particularly with the research still being inconclusive regarding its safety,” she said.

However Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts said it approved the use of glyphosate, which was registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

“Main Roads uses glyphosate in accordance with the APVMA guidelines as an important part of an integrated approach to weed control that also includes other approved herbicides, mowing, mulching, revegetation and the prevention of weed spread by vehicles and equipment,” he said.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers that glyphosate has a similar carcinogen risk classification as red meat, with alcoholic beverages having a greater cancer risk than glyphosate.”

Main Roads would not comment on whether to consider stopping the use of glyphosate.

Mayor John Gangell said the town was inviting tenders from contractors to provide steam weed control treatments of footpaths, road islands, road kerb lines, concreted or paved pedestrian areas using steam.

Cr Gangell said the town commenced a 12-month steam trial as a replacement for chemical weed control at two natural reserves.

He said the town used glyphosate to treat weeds on garden beds in accordance with the APVMA requirements and the town’s pesticide policy.