Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Blacktown Council staff halt work in dispute over use of Roundup weedkiller

Blacktown Council staff halt work in dispute over use of Roundup weedkiller
July 4, 2019

More than 500 Blacktown City Council grounds maintenance and manual staff have returned to work following a meeting in the Industrial Relations Commission over the Council’s use of the controversial weedkiller Roundup.

Staff who work on the Council's parks, open spaces and roadside verges and their fellow union members walked off the job on Wednesday over the Council's lack of action in addressing the use of Roundup weed killer

The United Services Union (USU) advised that staff had been urging management to follow the lead of other Councils, which have banned the product and begun trialling safer alternatives.

The USU, which represents Council workers, said the dispute “escalated” on Wednesday after management ordered six staff to either use the product or face being forced into alternate jobs.

In a statement the USU advised "outdoor staff responded by halting work and returning to their depots, leaving more than 10,000 bins uncollected."

This afternoon, council staff returned after the council and USU came to an agreement to begin a trial of organic weedkillers.

USU NSW Metropolitan Manager Steve Donley told media that “common sense had prevailed”, commenting "the council has now agreed to what we proposed to them yesterday afternoon. They’re willing to form a committee, look at using organic products and do back-to-back testing over the next five months."

"They feel now they’re starting to work in a safe environment."

USU Secretary Graeme Kelly said organisations were abandoning the use of glyphosate around the world because of growing evidence that it is responsible for causing cancer.

Global chemical giant Bayer, which bought Roundup maker Monsanto for US$63 billion last year, says Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate is safe for human use and not carcinogenic.

The company is facing lawsuits by more than 13,400 plaintiffs in the USA and globally and a series of Roundup jury verdicts against Bayer have prompted its share price to plummet.

Among the Australian plaintiffs is Victorian gardener Michael Ogalirolo, aged 54, who regularly used the herbicide between 1997 and 2018 and who has developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Ogalirolo filed a writ in the Victorian Supreme Court in June alleging Monsanto Australia Pty Ltd failed to warn its Roundup Products are dangerous to human health, including that it could cause cancer.

On Wednesday morning a Blacktown City Council spokesman said it would “continue to review its method of weed control” but stood by the ruling of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) which deems glyphosate to be safe.

He added “Council has consulted with staff and unions on the use of glyphosate extensively.

“The APVMA states that: glyphosate is safe for humans, animals and the environment when used according to label directions. No regulatory agency in the world considers glyphosate to be a carcinogen.

“The APVMA does not expect any significant changes to the registration of glyphosate in Australia.”

Related Articles

4th January 2019 - Blacktown City Riverstone skate park opened for holidays

11th March 2017 - Global Goals for Sustainable Development report acknowledges golf’s certification system

17th February 2016 - New Zealand Greens say ‘using poisonous weedkillers in parks, playgrounds and streets has to stop’

16th February 2016 - Local councils using glyphosate weed killer despite cancer warnings

12th February 2016 - Turf laid on new fields at Blacktown Football Park

10th January 2016 - Report shows Parks Victoria responsible for toxic chemicals in the Yarra River

8th December 2014 - Researchers alarmed by high toxin levels in Townsville playgrounds

17th May 2013 - Western Sydney community welcomes Blacktown Showground Spray Park


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Pico Play

Pico is a global leader in Total Brand Activation. We specialise in engaging people, creating experiences and activating brands. Leveraging a track record in experience design that spans half a…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Venues

 
 

TICKETSERV

As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing

 
 

The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play

 
 

AlphaFit

AUSTRALIAN MADE. BUILT NOT BOUGHT. AlphaFit is a 100% Australian owned family company manufacturing gear specifically for the strength and conditioning, functional fitness and high-performance…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Crystal Pools

Crystal Pools has a solid history of performance on a wide variety of government and commercial projects and is the name behind many of Australia’s most innovative and ambitious aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Design

 
 

Mattioli

Mattioli provides award winning painting, flooring and waterproofing services to the aquatics and recreation sector. We’re recognised as the leading contractor in the industry with award-winning…

read more

Aquatics / Recreation / Safety

 
 

Altitude Training Systems

Also at 3 Squill Place, Arndell Park NSW 2148 ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology

 
 

Summit Fitness

Summit Fitness Equipment is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business