Council moves to ban glyphosate

29 August 2019

Waverley Council has moved to immediately cease using glyphosate-based weedkillers such as Roundup in sensitive areas and phase out all use by 2020/21.

Sensitive areas include playgrounds, areas around schools, Council’s sporting fields, Bondi Park, Campbell Parade, Biddigal Reserve, Bronte Park and Gully and Tamarama Park and Gully.

Waverley Mayor, John Wakefield, said the unanimous decision of Council follows an independent review of the Council’s policies and procedures governing herbicide use.  It also acknowledges the strong support from parts of our community to phase out glyphosate use.

“While Council officers believe that glyphosate could be safely used, the review presented alternatives to chemical use and ways that the Council can continue to protect its employees, the public and the local environment,” Mayor Wakefield said.

“The invasion of weeds in our conservation reserves and public spaces threatens biodiversity and affects the amenity and community use of these areas. As such, Waverley Council looked at all options for weed management including reduced or nil use of herbicides before making any decisions.

“We will now immediately begin using non-glyphosate treatments for controlling weeds including hand weeding, brush cutting, chipping, mulching and suppression of seed heads and mowing.

“We will phase out any rostered, scheduled glyphosate applications to Council’s footpaths, kerb and gutters and stormwater infrastructure and implement alternative management options as they become available and feasible.”

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority states that glyphosate can be used safely if the directions on the label are followed. Nevertheless, the Council has committed to the nil use of glyphosate-based herbicides across all Council’s operations by 2020/21.