Dubbo Regional Council will look into alternatives to glyphosate to kill weeds, especially in urban areas.
Councillor John Ryan raised the weed spraying issue at the recent council meeting. He asked for the Chief Executive Officer Michael McMahon to look at the possibilities of using new technologies to kill weeds like machines that emit steam.
A jury in California recently awarded $US289 million to Dewayne Johnson, who said he got terminal cancer after years of using Roundup – which contains glyphosate – as a school groundskeeper.
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Numerous authorities have weighed in on the issue, however, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority said products containing glyphosate were safe to use if the instructions on the label were followed.
Cr Ryan said after the recent court case and the international interest in Roundup he thought council should do “due diligence” and look at the possible alternatives.
“It’s of concern to a lot of people and judging by the mood from countries from across the world like France, who are looking at potentially banning it, I think it’s incumbent on council to try and stay ahead of the game,” he said.
It’s of concern to a lot of people...John Ryan
“I know a lot of other councils are trying other measures including steam to wipe out weeds…. That technology has come a long way in the past 15 years from when I first heard about it and I think it’s something we should be on top of.”
Mayor Ben Shields said he supported the investigation but was uncertain if steam could be used to kill weeds across the region. However, he said he was in favour of doing whatever he could to reduce chemicals within urban areas.
Cr Ryan said the spraying report would ensure the community and the councillors were informed. It will be prepared for the October council meeting.