Shire to keep glyphosate opt-out verge spray policy

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Glyphosate, often sold as Roundup, is one of Australia's most commonly used chemicals for weed control.
Camera IconGlyphosate, often sold as Roundup, is one of Australia's most commonly used chemicals for weed control. Credit: Getty Images

The Shire of Denmark has decided to keep their current glyphosate use policy, ruling against the 600-signature petition which demanded radical change in the Shire’s weeds strategy plan.

The petition, presented to the council in April, called on the Shire to obtain consent from landowners before spraying glyphosate on public verges. But the council voted unanimously to stick with the Shire’s “opt-out” policy which put the onus on residents to apply for an exemption from chemical verge spraying.

In council documents, Shire assets and sustainable development director David King acknowledged there had been issues.

“In previous years, there has been a number of errors in application of the No Spray Register, this has resulted in instances where verges that are on the No Spray Register have been sprayed,” he said.

“Officers are seeking to reduce this human error in 2019-20 by implementing systems that will significantly reduce the risk of errors.”

“Using an opt-in concept poses a significant risk to the Shire. Unless the owner of the adjacent land installs a permissible verge treatment in accordance with the Shire of Denmark Thoroughfares and Public Places Local Law, the responsibility for maintenance of the verge lies with the Shire of Denmark.”

The council also voted to consider reviewing its current Weed Strategy and Action Plan in the near future.

Since 2015, the Shire has used an “opt-out” process.

There are 96 properties on the No Spray Register, representing 3.5 per cent of the total verge length managed by the Shire.

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