BASSENDEAN 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.
Council was requested by officers to not accept any tender submissions for chemical free steam weed management, reconsider its suspension of glyphosate on hard surfaces and request a report on the cost for a wipe-on glyphosate applicator trial.
The recommendation related to advice given by Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medical Authority to the Town that glyphosate did not pose a cancer risk to humans.
According to an officer’s report, the proposed wipe-on glyphosate applicator trial was to be implemented to target weeds growing within the expansion joints of concrete footpaths, road kerbs, road islands and paved pedestrian areas.
The report also revealed the difference between estimated costs for using glyphosate and steam treatments was $91,101, or a 473 per cent increase in expenditure.
Operational services director Simon Stewart-Dawkins said the cost of wipe-on was quite high because the labour was manually intense.
Mr Stewart-Dawkins said steam treatment required six treatments to eliminate weeds while wipe-on would be about two treatments.
Councillor Renee McLennan said a decision on weed management needed to be made.
“Since I have been on council, other than LandCorp, this is the other topic of big debate,” she said.
Cr Gerry Pule said a referendum would give the community a chance to have its say on weed management.
Mayor John Gangell closed debate by proposing a motion to defer the decision and undergo workshops as soon as possible.
All councillors voted for the alternative motion.
Resident and Alliance for a Clean Environment spokeswoman Jane Bremmer said she thought it was not fair for council to put a “toxic chemical” in the community.