Dubbo Regional Council will consider trialling alternatives to weed killer glyphosate.
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.
The decision prompted councillor John Ryan to ask council to look at spraying alternatives, especially in urban areas.
On Monday night a report at the council committee meetings will suggest considering glyphosate alternatives and conducting further trials.
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In the report, council’s manager operations Craig Arms said glyphosate was an important broad-spectrum herbicide used by council when managing weeds across its very large local government area.
Mr Arms said there are alternatives that existed, but they were not without debate into the practicality, cost-efficiency and effectiveness.
“The use of thee products will require a change in methodology, expectations, costings and application equipment when compared to glyphosate-based products,” he said.
“Council is open to using glyphosate alternatives in appropriate circumstances based on evidence and in consideration of a broad scale operational context. Council is considering options with the view to trialling some in the near future.”
Council has already looked into using organic chemicals, such as the new LocalSafe Weed Terminator.
Non-chemical options have also been considered, however Mr Arms said non-chemical treatments removed the weed from sight quickly but tended to not kill the weed at the root source.
Flame throwers could be used for weed control if a permit was approved.
Meanwhile, steam applications have been ruled out as it was trialled by council two years ago and considered ineffective.
The Dubbo Regional Council committee meetings will be held in the Dubbo council chambers from 5.30pm. The meeting will also be live streamed.