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 2019-2023 Integrated Weed Management Strategy.

    What is Darebin City Councils predominate form of weed management?

    Hand weeding 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)
    • brush cutting (knocking weeds down and preventing seed dispersal)
    • hand feeding
    • chipping
    • 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.

    Please view the following actions highlighted in the 2019-2023 Integrated Weed Management Strategy:

    • 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, properties such as childcare centres and elderly citizen’s homes, path edges and fence lines.
    • 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.

    Furthermore, Darebin Council along with other local Councils are currently confirming the details of a research project with Deakin University focused on glyphosate alternatives. The research will deliver current best practice and assessment of respective OHS risks for the alternate weed management strategies. It will also provide comparable data in terms of effectiveness and potential long-term soil impacts of the alternative treatments.