Local govt asked to

‘We need to know what councils have got and have they got any of it,’ Australian Services Union assistant branch secretary Pat Branson said.

Last Monday, Four Corners claimed its tests of a herbicide approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) showed higher than permitted levels of dioxin in those products using poison 2,4-D.

Ms Branson said inspections of council depots and work practices led to an understanding that 2,4-D was not being used, spraying and protection rules were being followed and glyphosphate-based Roundup from shops was preferred.

National Toxics Network senior researcher Lee Bell said it was possible anyone could use 2,4-D from the APVMA’s list of about 100 products for parks, bowling greens, agriculture or other public and private areas.

‘Are contractors being told what they cannot spray and where,’Mr Bell said.

Subiaco chief executive Stephen Tindale at present the City was not aware that any of its herbicides had 2,4-D, and Roundup was used on paths.

Town of Cambridge chief executive Jason Buckley, whose council does not use 2,4-D, said if spraying herbicides in the Town all staff, including contractors, must have undergone appropriate training and apply the herbicide in accordance with the product’s Material Safety Data Sheet and label guidelines, and wear protective clothing.’

Claremont uses only licensed contractors that do not spray 2,4-D but follow WA Health Department and manufacturer’s guidelines including low volume-low pressure spray equipment to stop spray drift.

Trained Cottesloe staff do the only spraying in the town with products not containing 2,4-D, while Mosman Park uses three products with glycine-derived salts available at shops, and Peppermint Grove uses Roundup for a solitary laneway treatment each year.

Jon Bassett