Council to phase out herbicide use

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KINGSTON Council has agreed to phase out the use of the herbicide glyphosate.

Council voted on 28 October to “immediately reduce the use of glyphosate through improved practices and use of alternate products and continue to reduce glyphosate through contract renewal processes phasing out completely by 2020, where contractually possible” and to “determine that no further contracts or agreements are to occur where glyphosate is being used.”

The motion agreed to by councillors read that council will “cease the use of Local Safe to control weeds in council’s playgrounds, and in areas where Local Safe has been used, glyphosate will not be used.” They also voted to “commence using social enterprise organisations to undertake hand weeding in council’s playgrounds” and to “continue to monitor advice from government regulatory reviews and advice from Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.”

The move follows a similar call made by neighbouring Frankston Council, who voted to ban the use of the herbicide by staff and contractors starting from 1 July 2020.

Frankston councillor Glenn Aitken said “probably the key to the whole issue is the $2 billion lawsuit in America that was awarded, and I understand that has now passed through three trials and been affirmed. The number of bans and restrictions in cities, countries, and states around the world is quite extraordinary in regards to glyphosate.”

“We can’t ignore this issue any longer,” he said.

Additional funding for alternative weed control methods will be considered by Kingston Council at their mid-year budget review.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 6 November 2019

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