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Baw baw Shire Council set to continue chemical free maintenance program across open space areas

Council will continue chemical free park maintenance across three open space areas, Hearn Street Park in Drouin, Queen Street Park in Warragul, and McGregor Park in Trafalgar.

By news@gippsland - 13th August 2021 - Back to News

Council initially began the Chemical Free Parks (CFP) program in 2019/20 with a further 12-month extension of the trial concluding June this year. The trials provided the Council a better understanding of maintenance costs and service level standards associated with chemical and chemical free practices.

Great news for green thumbs and community members alike, Council is set to continue its chemical-free park maintenance program!

Results from the trial

Results of the trials found chemical free alternatives such as nonanoic acid and pine oil products were not necessarily the most cost- effective, long-term solutions for weed control compared to chemicals such as glyphosate.

Instead, the trial identified that mechanical and manual type strategies including hand-weeding, hoeing, mulching, and whipper-snipping were the most effective chemical free practices in the maintenance of these spaces.Council recognises our community's awareness and needs relating to environmental sustainability and preservation are constantly evolving.

Preference towards chemical-free lifestyle

Many community members have an increasing preference towards a natural, chemical free or chemical minimising lifestyle. In response - and despite some increase in cost and resourcing - Council has decided to continue the CFP program in order to provide the community with the options they want for chemical free spaces throughout the Shire.

Further, the CFP program aligns with Council's commitment to a 'least harm' approach in the maintenance of unwanted vegetation and animal pests outlined in the Pest, Plant and Animal Chemical Policy. This program demonstrates Council's commitment to investigating more sustainable long-term initiatives and pursuing further chemical free maintenance across our community's open spaces.

Listening to what community wants

Mayor Cr Danny Goss said, "Although the manual work required is more a resource-intensive and costly approach to keeping parks maintained and weed free, this program is about more than just dollars and cents. It's about listening to what our community wants. We know that for some members of our community, having the option of a chemical free space is important. We've heard that. This approach lets us offer that option."

Supporting chemical-free maintenance

Deputy Mayor Cr Michael Leaney said, "I would like to thank the team that has been undertaking this work over the last couple years and acknowledge the comprehensive report they've put forward. Making the shift to chemical free is easier said than done. It takes a lot of work."

"The way they've laid out the pros and cons of the approach, the different benefits and problems that come up, is excellent. It lets us take a realistic approach about what we can and can't do and what we can and can't afford. I applaud the work they've been doing on the ground and I'm happy to support the continuation of chemical free maintenance in line with the recommendations."

Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.


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