What is Darebin Council’s responsibility regarding weeds?
Under the CaLP Act 1994 (Catchment and Land Protection Act) Council must manage weeds on their land that are declared ‘Noxious’. Council also manages weeds that threaten sites of biodiversity significance, threaten parks and gardens and sporting facilities or have an impact on the amenity of the municipality.
Who has been consulted to develop the draft Integrated Weed Management Strategy?
The Strategy has been developed through an internal and external consultation process. Darebin residents and Friends groups (for example Friends of Merri Creek) had opportunities to provide feedback through the ‘Your Say’ website. Internal departments and external agencies including management committees were invited to workshops and this is reflected in the proposed draft Integrated Weed Management Strategy.
What is Darebin City Councils predominate form of weed management?
Handweeding is the preferred option for weed control and utilised in many situations. Mulching, differential mowing and deseeding are also heavily used. Council does use chemical applications however we avoid using chemical based treatments where possible and carefully consider a variety of options depending on the area and weather.
What alternatives is Darebin Council currently using instead of round-up?
We avoid using chemical based treatments where possible and carefully consider a variety of options depending on the area and weather. Council uses many alternatives to glyphosate-based products. These include but are not limited to:
- cutting grass (preventing seed dispersal)
- brushcutting (knocking weeds down and preventing seed dispersal)
- flame weeding
- controlled ecological burns
- organic based products
- seed head removal of pest species
- high density plantings
- weed matting
- weed spread prevention (hygiene)
- sugar applications post burn to reduce weed growth and have also been trialing steam
All alternatives require risk mitigation as they all have inherent risks associated with each alternate treatment.
What steps is Darebin City Council taking to move to a low herbicide future?
Council acknowledges the critical need to seek alternative methods for weed management rather than the use of chemicals and is working towards a low herbicide future. The following actions are proposed in the draft Integrated Weed Management Strategy:
- Adopt and implement a ‘no spray register’
- Ensure consistent and relevant record-keeping for all herbicide purchase and use
- Stop the use of herbicides by changing the type of treatment close to sensitive public places such as shopping strips or properties such as childcare centres or elderly citizen’s homes
- Street Trees – adopt steam treatment or an alternative limited glyphosate solution for weed management during the two-year tree establishment phase
- Open Space Strategy and any subsequent outputs such as other strategies and Open Space Asset Management Plans to incorporate measures that will meet this goal
- Review the management and objectives for each sportsground and golf course with a view to reducing herbicide use
- Ensure best practice for use of herbicides