November 7, 2001
A letter was recieved from Robyn Read about Weed
Spraying, in summary.
- Its standard practice to spray after cutting to slow regrowth
- Council has reduced spraying by 75% in two years
- volunteer vegetation control leads to liabilitie for council
- council will endeavour not to use roundup in East Tyagarah here continent
on the levels of regrowth
A new procedure is being produced and should be ready in the new
Letter sent by Robin Read to TPA. 7 November 2001
Thank you for your letter received 27 September 2001. The delay in replying is regretted.
You have made the observation that areas of East Tyagarah were sprayed only a day after they had been mown. This is , in fact, standard practice as this method requires far less herbicide spray and is more efficient.
Your letter refers to verbal advice given by a Council staff member that there is a formal Council process that has to be followed to determine how to maintain an area. Council endeavours to maintain roadside vegetation in accordance with accepted Roads and Taffic Authority practice. A copy of this practice is attached for your information. This practice is based on intervention levels, which define when vegetation should be controlled ot ensure safety is maintained on rural roads. Council applies these standards to all roads under its care and control.
Council acknowledges your Association's request that roundup not be used in this area.
There are two issues which need to be considered before giving this undertaking. Council is not in a financial position to completely stop the use of spray. The last two years has seen a 75% reduction in the use of spray, but this has been achieved by incurring additional labour costs. To reduce spray use even further will cost proportionally even more because current spraying operations are restricted to areas which require a high labour resource to control vegetation. Secondly, Council must also be mindful of the need to control vegetation on roadsides for safety reasons. This cannot be ignored, particularly in response to a recent ourt decision about public authorities' responsibilities and duty of care.
I note you offer to keep roadside vegetation under control in co-operation with Council. Whilst this appears to be a good solution I am advised it introduces many safety issues. Council has to be aware of its liabilities in relation to using a volunteer labour in a high risk area.
There are also substantial operational problems which would arise if different roadside vegetation control strategies applied to different areas within the Shire.
To the degree that it is possible, however, Council will endeavour not to use roundup in the area again. This will be contingent on resources and the degree to which vegetation grows around road signs, driveways and intersections in the east Tyagarah locality.
I should add that Council is currently preparing a procedure to control all aspects of herbicide use. This procedure will be designed to further reduce usage and associuated adverse impacts on residents and the environment. It will also require that COuncil must advise the public of any proposed spraying by way of public notice in the media and on-site signage. It is hoped to have this procedure in place by the new year.
Please contact Jeff Smith, Director of Constrution and Maintenance Services on 6626-7103 if you wish to discuss the matter further.
Yours faithfully Robyn Read General Manager
Attached was RTA Corridor Asset Maintenance setting intervention levels ....
Horizontal clearance from back of shoulder &/or kerb width<1m
Heigh clearance over shoulders, cycleways, footpaths, pavement and rest areas. height<5.5m
Vegetation within 500mm of guideposts and signposts heigh>200 (mm I presume)
Vegetation present in paved areas, joints & between pavement and kerb adversely affecting drainage, unsightly or created potential trip hazard
Undesirable growth in danger of falling or root structure has potential to damage structure
Height of woody species, 0.5m behind guardrail, greater than height of guardrail
Dead trees or broken limbs and branches in vacant properties, landscaped or rest areas
Growth obstructs distance to intersections and signs Speed Zone >80km/hr, distance <200m
70km/hr <= Speed <= 90km/hr - distance <150m
Speed <70km/hr Distance <100m
Posted at November 7, 2001 12:00 AM
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