Weed control

The City of Stonnington operates a weed control program to:

  • provide a safe and comfortable environment for people using our parks, sportsgrounds and natural reserves,
  • ensure road kerbs and footpaths are not obscured by weeds,
  • prevent weeds from becoming trip hazards in footpaths,
  • promote the health of turf, trees and plants in parks, gardens and road reserves,
  • improve biodiversity values in bushland, and
  • maintain the city’s parks and roads to an acceptable standard.

Council uses the glyphosate-based product Roundup Biactive to control weeds across the municipality.

What is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide which works by inhibiting an enzyme found in plants.

Glyphosate is an approved weed control product. It has been registered under the Australian Government’s Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for over 40 years.

Glyphosate is commonly used to control weeds in domestic and agricultural situations, plus on local government-owned land such as parks, sportsgrounds, footpaths and streetscapes.

There are around 500 products containing glyphosate registered for use in Australia including commonly known weed killers - Roundup, Roundup Biactive, Accord, Rodeo and Touchdown.

Why does Council use Glyphosate?

Council uses glyphosate as an approved, effective and cost effective method of controlling weeds and meeting community expectations for amenity in parks, gardens, footpaths and other public areas.  It is the most widely used herbicide by public land managers in Australia.

What Glyphosate product does Council use?

Council uses the glyphosate-based product Roundup Biactive to control weeds across the municipality.

Roundup Biactive (or a locally manufactured equivalent) is considered more environmentally sensitive than the original Roundup formulation, and is approved for use in areas such as around streams, creeks, dams, channels and drains.

The product is a water soluble herbicide for non-selective control of annual and perennial weeds, and is considered the most efficient and effective method of controlling weeds across the city.

Where does Council use Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is used in City of Stonnington parks, gardens, streetscapes and footpaths.

How is Glyphosate applied?

Glyphosate is applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s Materials Safety Data Sheet and staff are trained in the safe use of the product.

Council also has a Safe Work Methods Statement for chemical use which is applicable to all staff using chemicals, and specifies requirements for personal protective equipment and appropriate qualifications.

Alternatives to Glyphosate

Council has explored a number of alternatives to glyphosate-based herbicide for weed control.

No current alternative is considered to be financially viable or effective for the weed control programs Council undertakes throughout the city.

Concerns about Glyphosate use

Council is aware of community concerns about the use of glyphosate, particularly following recent media coverage.

Council relies on national chemical regulator, APVMA, for formal advice relating to the safety and use of products containing glyphosate.

The APVMA’s position on the use of glyphosate is available on the APVMA website

In summary, the APVMA states that:

Glyphosate is registered for use in Australia and APVMA approved products containing glyphosate can continue to be used safely according to label directions.

Based on this advice the City of Stonnington will continue to use glyphosate for weed control, in accordance with label instructions and Occupational Health and Safety standards, policies and procedures.

Given recent media coverage, community interest and Council’s commitment to health and safety, Council call on the APVMA to continue to review and assess the health, safety and suitability of glyphosate as a chemical for controlling weeds in public open spaces.