City leads the way in alternative weed control

News Update 16 August 2018

The City of South Perth has responded to growing concern within the community around the use of traditional chemicals to control weeds by introducing two new approaches.

Mayor Sue Doherty said following a trial of alternative non-toxic, non-chemical weed management approaches earlier in the year, the City is leading by example with the introduction of these alternative approaches to weed control. 

“Both steam technology and pelargonic acid has been incorporated into the City’s annual weed management program,” Sue said.

“Steam technology is completely non-toxic and non-chemical, and presents no risk to the community or the environment. This has proven to be a very effective alternative within public thoroughfares, particularly adjacent to schools, hospitals and within retail and commercial precincts.

“In addition, our Natural Areas Maintenance team will also apply steam technology in the management of weeds within the City’s environmentally sensitive spaces, particularly its wetlands and riverine parklands.”

Pelargonic acid, an organic compound found naturally in most plants will also be used within the street gardens and landscape areas to control weed growth such as soft annual grasses and broad leaf weeds.

“While pelargonic acid is capable of damaging plant cells and causing skin irritation in concentrated doses, it does not represent any significant health or environmental risks,” Sue said. 

These two new approaches mean that the City has been able to limit the use of Glyphosate, found in Roundup, to road kerbs and footpath weeds.

“As a local government authority it is important that we continually look at ways in which we can effectively and safely deliver on our community’s expectations - both in terms of providing public open spaces which are well maintained, while also considering the impact of how this is done,” Sue said.

“With more than 660 hectares of public open space across the City, including two kilometres of Swan River frontage, caring for our residents, the wider community, and our wonderful river system is paramount.”

National media interest this week in local governments’ approach to alternative weed management control saw the Mayor featured in national news coverage, championing the City’s proactive approaches. 

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