Residents can opt out of glyphosate spraying

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RESIDENTS have been told to join a Do Not Spray Register and maintain their own verges if they don’t want council staff using glyphosate near their homes.

The Town of Victoria Park has recommended council continue using glyphosate-based products such as Roundup despite its use being linked to cancer, stating more environmentally friendly weed control methods were expensive and time consuming.

The report is in response to a council resolution in September calling for potential alternatives to using glyphosate-based chemicals for weed control within the Town.

Petition urges council to ban glyphosate

It said residents concerned about chemical use should nominate for the register.

East Victoria Park resident Vicki Caulfield said the Do Not Spray Register was ideal for residents with allergies or concerns about the safety of chemical sprays.

“I have concerns about the health impacts of glyphosate, despite its approval for general use in Australia,” she said.

“There is growing evidence, both here and overseas, to suggest that prolonged exposure to glyphosate poses a serious health risk.

“In exchange for the Town not spraying outside my property I have to keep my verge and footpath weed free which I do anyway as I have a mulched verge garden that I either weed by hand or by using natural methods, such as hot water and vinegar.

“It works well and I see no need to use chemicals.”

Recent court cases in the United States have focused on the alleged health effects from the use of glyphosate, however the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the national regulator for chemical use, says glyphosate can continue to be used safely according to label directions.

The report prepared for council said the complete removal of glyphosate for weed control would be costly.

“The cost of doing one chemical spraying round for weed control on all kerbs and footpaths within the Town is less than $17,000,” the report said.

“To do the same area with steam treatment is $53,000 and with four rounds per annum required, this would equate to a $144,000 increase in cost.

“It is also anticipated that further steam treatments would be required to maintain current standards adding $106,000 on top of the $144,000 increase.”

There are 112 properties on the Do No Spray Register.