Controlling weeds

Why and how we control weeds

We manage and maintain over 150 parks, sports grounds and areas of natural bushland. This also includes hundreds of kilometres of roads, footpaths and laneways.

It's a major challenge to control invasive and destructive weeds. We do this with a strict weed control program.

Why is it important to control weeds?

Controlling weeds:

  • keeps our parks, sportsgrounds and natural bushland safe and comfortable
  • keeps road kerbs and footpaths from being blocked by weeds
  • prevents tripping hazards on footpaths
  • prevents damage to infrastructure (like roads) from weeds
  • promotes the healthy growth of trees and plants in parks, gardens and road reserves, and
  • improves biodiversity in natural bushland.

How do we control weeds?

We control weeds by:

  • pulling them out by hand
  • slashing with a whipper snipper
  • mulching
  • planting ground covers and mass plantings to out-compete the weeds
  • turf management programs such as mowing, fertilising and watering
  • spraying with saturated steam (hot water injected with steam), and
  • spraying with approved herbicide.

We use different methods to control weeds, depending on where they are.

Location Weed control
  • Hand weeding
  • Slashing
  • Steam
Maternal Child Health Centres
  • Hand weeding
  • Slashing
  • Steam
  • Hand weeding
  • Slashing
  • Steam
Natural bushland areas
  • Hand weeding
  • Slashing
  • Mulching
  • Steam
  • Spot herbicide
Parks, gardens, sports grounds 
  • Hand weeding
  • Slashing
  • Mowing
  • Mulching
  • Ground cover and mass planting
  • Herbicide
Road kerbs and footpaths
  • Herbicide
Roundabouts and traffic islands
  • Hand weeding
  • Mulching
  • Steam
  • Herbicide

Controlling weeds with herbicide

Herbicide is currently the most efficient, cost-effective way to control weeds to community standards.

The herbicide we use is glyphosate, approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

What herbicide do we use?

We use the glyphosate-based product Roundup Biactive. This is a water-soluble herbicide.

It's used for non-selective control of annual and perennial weeds, and is considered the most efficient way to control weeds.

Plant leaves and stems absorb the herbicide and moves through the plant into the root system.

It is disabled immediately in the soil. It does not provide lasting weed control.

We use Roundup Biactive because it is more environmentally sensitive than the original Roundup.

It's approved for use in areas around streams, creeks, dams, channels and drains.

What is glyphosate?

Glyphosate works on a wide variety of leafy weeds. It can't tell one weed from another.

It's commonly used in:

  • domestic and agricultural situations, and
  • local government land, like parks, sportsgrounds, footpaths and roadways.

Why do we use glyphosate?

Glyphosate is an approved weed killer by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the Australian government’s national regulator of agricultural and veterinary chemical products.

Glyphosate is an approved, effective and cost-effective way to control weeds in:

  • parks
  • gardens
  • footpaths, and
  • public areas.

It's the most widely used herbicide by Australian local councils.

Are there areas where we don't use glyphosate?


Other methods to control weeds are used around:

  • playgrounds
  • pre-schools
  • child health centres, and
  • sensitive areas, like wetlands.

In these areas, weeds are managed by:

  • hand weeding
  • slashing, and
  • applying steam.

Where is glyphosate used?

The glyphosate-based Roundup Biactive is used to control weeds in our:

  • parks
  • gardens
  • sportsgrounds
  • roadside kerbs, and
  • footpaths.

How is glyphosate applied?

Our trained staff use glyphosate in line with the safety instructions.

Before working with glyphosate, staff are trained in the safe and proper use of the product.

It's applied as a liquid, sprayed directly onto weeds with a hand-held applicator.

How do we notify people when glyphosate is being applied?

We put up signs stating ‘Weed Spraying in Progress’ before we use the product.

The signs stay there until the treated area is dry.

Sometimes a blue dye is used to show which weeds have been treated.

Is it safe to use a park after it has been treated?

Glyphosate becomes inactive when it dries.

When it's dry, the treated area can be used.

What should I do if I (or my pet) steps on wet grass that has been treated?

The weed killer is mixed to an approved concentration.

But if part of your or your pet's body touches the wet area, you should wash it.

Are there alternatives to glyphosate?


We use a range of weed control techniques, including:

  • hand weeding
  • steam
  • slashing
  • mulching, and
  • strategic planting.

Currently, the most efficient and cost-effective way to control weeds is herbicide.

Herbicide 'No Spray' register

You can ask for the kerb or footpath next to your property to not be treated with herbicide (the 'No Spray' register).

In doing this, you agree to control weeds next to your property to the same standard reached with herbicide.

Sign up to No Spray register

Concerns about glyphosate-based herbicide

Recently, we've seen more media coverage and community concern around glyphosate-based herbicides, like Roundup.

Some cities around the world have banned, or intend to ban glyphosate because of concerns for human health.

The national chemical regulator, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, and many similar organisations say glyphosate is safe to use in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

How we are responding

We understand people are still concerned about the safety of glyphosate.

So, we have committed to:

  • looking into phasing out glyphosate-based herbicides, if we can find a better alternative
  • using approved glyphosate-based herbicides in a minimal, selective and targeted manner (always following the label instructions, product safety data sheet, safe work procedures, personal protective equipment (PPE) and Council’s OHS policies and procedures)
  • where possible, using other methods (like steam) in places like playgrounds
  • having a 'No Spray' register so residents can opt out of having herbicide used next to their property (residents must then manage these weeds to Council standards)
  • providing updated staff training in the safe handling and use of glyphosate-based herbicides and PPE
  • ensuring ‘Spraying in Progress’ signs are visible when using herbicide
  • completing a six-month trial of other weed control methods to measure cost and efficiency, and
  • monitoring developments around glyphosate.

For more information, see the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.