Council adresses talk about chemical use in the region
JAN Clifford wants to nip negative online comments in the bud by making it clear what chemicals are being used in the Whitsundays, why and in what quantities.
The Division 1 councillor was prompted to speak about the issue at today's Whitsunday Regional Council meeting in Bowen following "chat" on social media.
Following the meeting council issued a media release saying CEO Barry Omundson would provide a report in which this information would be contained.
On one of the region's social media sites, local resident Jodie Brown drew attention to the spraying of chemicals between Shute Harbour Road and South Molle Boulevard in Airlie Beach and urged people to keep their children away.
Ms Brown's post hit a nerve with the community, with the comments and replies to her post extending for many pages.
Posts ranged from questions as to why workers were spraying when rain was forecast, to how chemicals were killing the reef and even the fact that glyphosate (Round Up) has been banned in some parts of Europe and causes cancer.
Manager of Parks and Gardens Adam Hagy said council was continually reviewing weed spraying practices and was currently investigating alternative cost effective methods in preventing erosion on steep slopes as a result of herbicide use.
"I can assure residents that chemical application is only carried out when required, which is reflected in our records, and all of council's spray operators are well trained in the use of chemical application, being sure to abide by all relevant legislation," Mr Hagy said.
During the meeting Cr Peter Ramage said he would like to see a report on the amount of chemicals used in the region particularly Round Up.
"As everyone knows I have a problem with Round Up," he said.
Cr Ramage cited problems with the subterranean water systems in America due to the use of glyphosate-based defoliants and reiterated "I would like to see a full report".