Labor motion to phase out use of glyphosate herbicide in City of Newcastle operations

Labor motion to phase out use of glyphosate herbicide in City of Newcastle operations

 Tuesday 25 June 2019

Newcastle Labor Councillors will this evening move a Notice of Motion calling on the City of Newcastle to phase out the use of the herbicide glyphosate (pg 110 of agenda).

The motion follows a trial of alternative techniques for managing weeds undertaken by CN since 2018, including the use of alternative products such as ‘Local Safe – Weed Eliminator’ (Acetic Acid), ‘Bio Weed’ (Pine oil based), ‘Slasher’ (Nonanoic Acid / Pelargonic Acid) and weed steaming. 

“City of Newcastle is proud to be a leader in environmental conservation, and is proposing to continue this leadership by voluntarily phasing out the use of glyphosate-based herbicides in our operations,” said Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

“There is growing international concern about the use of glyphosate chemicals, and we believe that it is in the best interest of our residents to apply the precautionary principle and limit its use where viable alternatives exist”.

 “As a coastal city, it is important that we consider what ends up in our environment, creeks and waterways,” said Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen.

“Managing weeds is an important part of maintaining our great public places, but this shouldn’t come with unnecessary environmental risks.”

The phase out of glyphosate has been recommended by researchers from the University of Sydney, and the motion follows advocacy from Newcastle residents including the Lambton Residents Group.

The voluntary phase out will extend to all of CN’s operations, except where the City is legally obligated under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 to use glyphosate, such as controlling the noxious Pampas Grass weed.

A number of other NSW Councils, including Fairfield, Georges River, Willoughby, Ku-ring-gai, Sutherland Shire and Waverley, are reported to be taking similar steps to phase out the use of glyphosate in their operations, and the Victorian Government has initiated a review into its use in Victoria.

Declan Clausen