Vegetation Management


Photo: Redland City Council

Tackling weeds

In response to community concern over herbicide spraying, Redland City Council is developing an Integrated Weed Management Plan for Coochiemudlo Island.

This involves multiple approaches including native plant competition and non-chemical intervention with the ultimate goal to achieve long-term weed control without damaging the environment.

In the absence of a site specific plan, previous weeding operations should have been guided by recommendations from the 2004 Coochiemudlo Land Management Plan, Redlands Pest Management and Conservation Plans (see hereunder)

2004 Coochiemudlo Island Land Management Plan Queensland Government and Redland City Council

Redland City Council Conservation Land Management Strategy Redland City Council

Redland City Council Pest Management Plan Redland City Council

In November 2014 Coastcare asked Redland City Council to

  • Work collaboratively with a motivated community to share the care for the environment
  • Support the Ramsar Convention and encourage engagement with stakeholders
  • Demonstrate leadership and promote ecologically sustainable action
  • Adopt chemical/herbicide-free buffer zones around the Melaleuca Wetlands, sensitive water courses (ie Curlew Creek) and fore-dunes
  • Respond with an Integrated Weed Management Plan for the island with minimal chemical use
  • Promote alternative weed eradication methods – competitive native regeneration/planting. hand-weeding, bio and thermal control

In March 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an agency under the World Health Organisation, found sufficient evidence to reclassify glyphosate ( commonly known as Round-up) and four organophosphate pesticides as probably carcinogenic. Internationally, as countries ban these products, the warnings are being sounded in Australia (ie NSW Government Glyphosate and Organophosphates Fact Sheet).

At a meeting with senior Council officers in August 2015, Coastcare asked Council to work together and trustfully with a motivated community to share the care for the environment. We sought  the development of an Integrated Weed Management Plan with non-chemical control of weeds within five years. We also encouraged Council to adopt the use of saturated steam, an effective non-toxic  treatment used by Councils around Australia with particular success in North Queensland.

In September 2015 a walk was undertaken around the island by Redland City Council senior management with an inspection of the asparagus-ridden western mangrove track and cats claw infestation at the golf course. Work was then undertaken on the Cat’s Claw Creeper.

As countries around the world move to restrict the use of herbicides like glyphosate in public places, Coastcare has continued to advocate a better way forward for tackling weeds on Coochiemudlo Island. We have compiled a list of resources to assist better understanding of the issue.


Environmental and health organisations launch European citizens’ initiative to ban glyphosate  Pesticide Action Network – Europe

Controversial weedkiller is finally banned in Malta  Times of Malta

French parks and public gardens bid adieu to pesticides Mother Nature Network

Sri Lanka’s New President Puts Immediate Ban on Glyphosate Herbicides Sustainable Pulse

Local councils still using weed killer glyphosate despite WHO warning it ‘probably causes cancer’ ABC News

EPA Analysis: 97 Percent of Endangered Species Threatened by Two Common Pesticides Center for Biological Diversity

World Health Organisation findings on glyphosate WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer

Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate The Lancet Volume 5 May 2015

Response to WHO report Science for Society

France moves toward full ban on pesticides blamed for harming bees Reuters

Glyphosate Monograph Pesticide Action Network International

Italian Health Ministry Puts Strict Restrictions on Glyphosate Herbicides Sustainable Pulse

Australian warnings NSW Government, Safework NSW

Reproductive health experts call for action on toxic chemicals  Beyond Pesticides

Warning after husband’s death Northern Star

Weed Workshop Weed Network

Glyphosate, the latest scientific review  Garden Organic

Glyphosate persistence in seawater ( Australian study 2014) Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 8, Issue 2 (30 August 2014)

Best Practice

An Integrated Vegetation Management Plan for the Public Open Spaces of Coochiemudlo Island Ian Shapcott

The Philosophy of Open Spaces in Ghent – the Mayor Pesticide-free Towns

National Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia  Society for Ecological Restoration

General guidelines for weed management Australian Association of Bush Regenerators

Introductory weed management – Developing and managing a weed management plan Tasmanian Government

Coastcare Tasmania – Coastcare Handbook (Part 1 & Part 2) Landcare Australia

Flora Survey Guidelines – Protected Plants Queensland Government

Biological Control – Jewel Beetle CAWS

Cats Claw creeper Australian Government

The bush is a garden: Chemical-free weeding strategies Jennifer Catalano & Phil Cloran

Riparian Zones

A guide to managing and restoring wetlands in Western Australia Australian Government, Department of Environment and Conservation

Habitat Management Guide, Weed management in riparian areas:south-eastern Australia Australian Government, Land and Water Australia

Guidelines for weeding near waterways Tasmanian Government

Queensland wetlands buffer guidelines Australian Government & Queensland Government


Herbicide Reduction Strategy for Australia Weeds Network

Be aware Workcover NSW

At the local level Council of Australian Weed Societies

Weed Management near the shoreline Tasmanian Government

Australian Association of Bush Regenerators links Australian Association of Bush Regenerators

Sensitivity with dunes/ecosystem approach Toolijooa Environmental Restoration

Weed Management Tasmanian Government

Alternative weed management – Melbourne-based company Steamweeders

What other Councils are doing

Six member Councils located in Perth’s eastern suburbs: City of Bayswater, City of Belmont, Shire of Kalamunda, Shire of Mundaring and the City of Swan,Town of Bassendean The Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC)

Byron Mayor, GM in heated exchange over steam weeding Echo Net Daily

Sunshine Coast Council follows France’s lead phasing out weedkiller ABC Sunshine Coast

Leichardt Municipal Council and the City of Fremantle testimonials for Weedsteamers City of Freemantle

Chemical-free weed and pest control goal Byron Shire Council

New and innovative method of weed control City of Charles Sturt

Council trials natural alternative for weed control City of Yarra

Christchurch City Council to reduce use of potentially dangerous weedkiller Christchurch City Council

Marickville Inner-West Council

Steaming weeds in North Queensland Ecotone volume 37 #1 (February 2017)

The case for saturated steam

Weedtechnics cost benefit success University of Colorado

Thermal weed control to remove off target toxicology risks Kerrie Guppy, Jon Nester, Jeremy Winer

Holistic weed control practice for urban storm water catchments Global trends, methods, limitations and cost benefits by Jeremy Winer

Coochiemudlo Island test-driving a scheme aimed at reducing chemical use Redland City Bulletin (14 March 2017)

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