City of Melville monitoring calls from authorities about the use of glyphosate

Stock image.
Stock image.

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 on the 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 United States during 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 uses a variety of approaches to weed management such as hand weeding, slashing, brush cutting and herbicide applications, including glyphosate, to manage these areas in its more than 200 parks and reserves plus 800ha of open public space.

“Our community tell us they want clean and well-maintained parks, reserves, natural areas and public open spaces,” he said.

“In order to achieve this, the City uses the above 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 the renewed concerns regarding the use of glyphosate but was guided by federal regulatory advice from both the Department of Health and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority in relation to its use and application.

“The City will continue to monitor the situation and until such a time that alternative advice is provided by the relevant Federal Government agencies the City will continue using glyphosate for weed control, in accordance with best practice and safety procedures,” he said.

Alliance for a Clean Environment convenor Jane Bremmer told Community News earlier this year that councils should immediately suspend the use of glyphosate in public places, particularly children’s playgrounds.