Mayor pushes for ban on common weed killer
FRASER Coast mayor George Seymour has called for an immediate ban on a common weed control chemical.
At last month's council meeting, Cr Seymour pushed for the chemical glyphosate, the active ingredient in popular weed killer, Roundup, to be discontinued until the council considered a report on its associated risks.
Glyphosate has been at the centre of recent controversy since a United States jury in March found Roundup, developed by chemical giant Monsanto, was a "substantial factor" in causing a man's cancer.
Cr Seymour's motion called for a report to be prepared on the use of glyphosate products by the council and the associated risks, for the council to investigate and trial alternative herbicides that did not contain glyphosate and for the council to "immediately discontinue the use of glyphosate products until such a time the report has been considered by the council".
However, councillors removed the final clause in a 10-1 vote, instead opting to wait until the report had been prepared.
The final motion was carried unanimously.
Councillor Paul Truscott said it was a worthwhile cause to investigate but said he would not feel comfortable knowing "what work might further be created by discontinuing it".
"Staff have been using the product for decades and using it in appropriate, safe methods," Cr Truscott said.
"I don't want to disagree with it, but I would rather wait for the report."
The council's report into the use of glyphosate could force staff to use alternative chemical products to combat weeds if councillors vote on discontinuing its use.
Councillor Anne Maddern said the council needed to take a "risk-based approach" due to the potential of alternative chemicals posing "a risk on the health and safety of our staff".
"My guess is because they're not being used... they're not as effective and I'm concerned about what kind of environmental issues they might impose on our council land," she said.