Residents concerned about weed killer sprayed at Scarborough parks

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE City of Stirling says a weed killer sprayed at Scarborough parks recently is safe, despite residents’ concerns.

Some were alarmed after a social media post in a local residents’ group on Friday advised Chipco Spearhead had been sprayed at Butlers Reserve and Abbett Park that morning.

One resident said she did not see signs advising of the spraying until after walking around and throwing the ball for her dog, while Alicia Chambers believed people should be able to make a choice whether to enter a recently sprayed park or not.

“I understand that the council has to maintain our parks for the benefit and enjoyment of the community,” she said.

“However in order to give residents and park-goers a choice as to whether they want to expose themselves, their children and their pets to a potentially toxic pesticide, better signage is required after the parks are sprayed.

“Being pregnant especially, I was very concerned to hear about the parks being sprayed and lack of signage.”

According to the City, which follows WA Health Department guidelines, the sprayed area is safe to use once the herbicide is dry. But safety information provided by the herbicide manufacturer advises that “hand weeding and transplanting should not be performed before two weeks after spray application” unless workers wear safety clothing and gloves, and “contaminated clothing” should be washed.

Parks and sustainability manager Ian Hunter said the City took appropriate precautions when using herbicides.

“Signs were placed at all major entrances to the reserve and park and the City had spotters on hand to forewarn residents or passers-by,” he said. “As stipulated by the WA Health Department, once the herbicide is dry on the leaf, the area is safe to use.”

A Health Department spokeswoman said the safety information was standard advice.

“The safety messages are intended to make people aware that the small element of risk can be further reduced by using good hygiene practices when handling pesticides and plants treated with pesticides,” she said.