City cops a spray over chemicals

The advertised weed spraying was due to begin last week, but has not yet taken place due to adverse weather conditions.

The City undertakes a broadleaf weed spraying program once each year. The weeds targeted include bindii in turf.

City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said when the City had not undertaken the program in the past, there had been complaints about bindii.

‘The risk to the environment and to residents is minimal for weed spraying when the instructions for the use of the chemical and the correct procedures are followed in its application,’ she said.

Greensteam Australia Director Jonathan Grey said ‘jolt’ ” the herbicide the City has advertised to be using ” is classed as hazardous, is a skin irritant and risks serious damage to eyes.

Greensteam Australia has been operating for five years and offers an alternative to chemical weed spraying.

‘I am willing to bet my bottom dollar if local governments consulted their community about the use of toxic pesticides, and offered an alternative such as the one we offer but told them they would need to add a $5-$10 premium per ratepayer per year for the privilege, I doubt there would be much resistance,’ he said.

Mayor Doherty said the City had previously investigated the use and effectiveness of eradicating weeds using Thermal Steam but said the method was found to be more expensive and the outcome was not as satisfactory as the use of chemicals.

South Perth resident Greg Benjamin recently sent a factsheet to the City of South Perth after it sent letters to residents on his street saying they were proposing to spray Biflex.

He said the factsheet supported his concerns about the possibility of hazardous risks and signs of toxicity to both animals and humans.

He said the City said they would only spray for specific verges but said Biflex was recommended by the registered pest control company they were using.

‘While it was good that the City responded to limit the spraying, they had deflected responsibility for any future use of the spray to the pest control company which would have a vested interest.’