Do you have anything to say about council’s spray plan?

ABOVE: Stock photo of weed spraying.

Susanna Freymark

Kyogle Council’s Pesticide Use Notification Plan is on public exhibition until February 28.

This time is for the community to give feedback.

The pesticide plan has not changed since 2016. The new version has some minor spelling and grammar corrections but the content is the same as the 2016 document.

These are the pesticides the council uses:

Biochoice 360 (frog friendly (Glyphosate)) This is the one used for the vast majority of council’s weed management

Raizon (Herbicide)

Metsulfuron Methyl (Herbicide)

Tempra 750 WG (herbicide) nut grass

Sharp shooter rose blackspot (pesticide, fungicide)

Amgrow rose spray (pesticide, fungicide)

Sharp Shooter Lime sulphur (pesticide, fungicide)

Kyogle Environment Group secretary Sue Page representing 100 members has written to the council about the pesticide plan. The group questions the lack of notice given to the community when pesticides are used in public places.

Here is part of that letter.

“The EPA document Developing a Pesticide Use Notification Plan for outdoor places, a guide for public authorities, 2017 clearly states:

“Pesticides notification is based on the principle that the community has a basic right to know about pesticide use in public places. Giving people notice about pesticide use lets them reduce their contact with pesticides.”

Ms Page said the revised pesticide plan fails to achieve the right to know.

“Council’s plan shifts the onus of responsibility onto the public. The statement that is repeated in every section, excluding caravan parks and camping grounds is no notice will be provided unless specifically requested.

The Kyogle pesticide plan states that residents and landowners may request council to enter them onto a register to be advised when pesticides are being used.

“This is shifting the onus back onto the resident and is not in the spirit of the EPA guidelines which stresses the community’s right to information,” Ms Page said.

She said the Kyogle plan was in stark contrast to the Rous County Council Pesticide Use Notification Plan.

Under the Rous plan the council “will endeavour to provide a minimum of two days notice of its intention to apply pesticides in publicly accessible areas,” Ms Page said.

The Rous council does this through signs, letters, letterbox drops, advertisements and on the council website.

In the Kyogle pesticide plan, there is this paragraph:

Kyogle Council will advise residents of this plan and its contents by:

• making a copy of the Plan available for viewing, free of charge, at its office

• placing a notice in council communications such as council’s website, community

newsletter and social media platforms

• placing a notice in local online and print media

• placing a notice in the NSW Government Gazette

What do you think? Is this enough notice for the public? If you have something to say, let the council know.

Read Kyogle’s Pesticide Use Notification Plan and give your feedback before the deadline of February 28.

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