Byron Shire Council will aim to go chemical free within the next five years.
A new shire-wide weed/pest management policy is to be written which includes the aim of ceasing the use of all non organic chemical based herbicides and pesticides.
The policy would apply to all council owned and managed land.
“The integrated policy and supporting plan would outline our goals and action plan for how we are going to get there.
“Our community needs confidence that our high use areas do not use chemical herbicides unless it is absolutely necessary and there is no other viable alternative. For instance, this would include playgrounds and sports fields.
“Using steam to rid weeds is already being embraced more and more by individual and organisational land owners. Council needs to keep up and embrace new technology that is sustainable for our shire.
“Whilst 5 years is aspirational, we need to set a benchmark against which we can list our achievements and perhaps revise the target if needed.
“We need to start somewhere and clearly our community has been asking for this for some time now.
“Lets consider a trail in some locations and empower our community to pitch in and help when they are willing.”
Mayor Richardson acknowledged that resources will be needed. “Lets get the policy and action plan written, define costs and allocate funds where deemed appropriate in a responsible manner.
“We can start small but work towards a bigger picture,” Mayor Richardson stated.
At the meeting, Council also called for a report considering the immediate ending of mowing and brush cutting of all roundabouts in the Shire and incremental replacement with site appropriate maintenance free landscaping.
Council will also be writing to National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) for assurances that no aerial spraying or board scale ground based spraying residue, can contaminate Council or private land adjacent to NPWS controlled land.
Plus a request will be made that NPWS engage with community to grow a community ecological and non chemical weed management group.