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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Misuse of pesticides

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The recent use of pesticides on rural roads against Council policy has been confirmed, Councillor Cameron told The Echo.

The resolution to stop using pesticides for rural road maintenance was passed in 2013 according to the recently adopted Integrated Pest Management Strategy (IPMS). At the planning meeting that adopted the IPMS Cr Cameron challenged staff over the recent use of pesticides saying that the IPMS should not be passed because it appeared that council was still using pesticides on rural roads.

‘Despite directors claiming at the previous planning meeting of Council that no pesticide use has occurred on rural roadsides since 2018 and statements to that effect in the IPMS, it has been revealed that pesticide use on our rural roads has continued to occur over the last twelve months,’ said Cr Cameron.

We now know that on at least thirteen days between May and August this year, pesticide has been used in North Ocean Shores, Yelgun, Montecollum, Bangalow and along Tweed Valley Way

‘We now know that on at least thirteen days between May and August this year, pesticide has been used in North Ocean Shores, Yelgun, Montecollum, Bangalow and along Tweed Valley Way.’

‘I am not confident that this list is complete as staff are still “compiling” information for the last twelve months in response to my requests for information.

‘Nor have the precise locations or the extent of spraying been revealed as yet. I have specifically requested information on documentation required to be maintained such as a risk register and WHS material handling data.

‘These records are required to be maintained for quick reference due to health and safety risks and it is not acceptable that that information is taking so long to be given to Councillors and the community.

‘The Mayor needs to take firm action on this issue, yet at the time of writing (twelve days after notification), he is still sitting on his hands with no updates to Councillors or any indication that he is taking the issue seriously.

‘You can’t tell the community that pesticides are not being used in public areas when they are,’ he said.

Councillor Cameron has confirmed that he will be submitting a recision motion ‘that has put the Council resolution to adopt the IPMS on hold’.

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