Frequently Asked Questions about pesticide use
What is the Pesticide Notification Plan?
The Pesticides Regulation 2009 makes it compulsory for anyone applying pesticides in public places to give notice that they are planning to use pesticides through a notification plan.
The Pesticide Use Notification Plan outlines how we will notify the community of pesticide applications in outdoor public places, which in turn allows members of the community to take action to avoid contact with pesticides.
Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands has updated their original plans published over 5 years ago into one amalgamated document. The Pesticide Use Notification Plan will be finalised after public exhibition in May/June 2016.
The plan describes:
· public places covered by the plan
· regular uses of these public places and an estimation of the level of use
· how and when Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands will provide the community with information about its pesticide applications in public places (for example, what notification arrangements will be used)
· how the community can get more information about Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands notification arrangements
· contact details for anyone wanting more information on the Pesticide Use Notification Plan
· special protection measures that will be taken if the pesticide is proposed to be used adjacent to a sensitive place
· information that will be provided in a notification which may include product name and purpose for which it will be used
What pesticides are used?
The most widely used chemical at Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands is glyphosate biactive to treat unwanted plants (weeds). We follow standard operating procedures to ensure the protection of people, wildlife, and the environment.
Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands balances the need to protect the environment from exposure to chemicals with the equally important objective of preventing the spread and proliferation of undesirable or noxious weed species.
· Pesticides are used on golf courses and other recreational areas to maintain the health and appearance of the turf
· Annual weed-spray programme targeting bindii and broad leaf weeds on sports fields and other high use turf areas
· Noxious and environmental weed control for conservation of native vegetation.
· Baits and sprays to control pests (rats, ants, termites)
Will exposure to pesticide in the parks and gardens make me sick?
The chance of developing a health problem from a pesticide depends on:
· the toxicity of the pesticide
· the amount of exposure to the pesticide
In order for a pesticide to affect you, you must be exposed to the pesticide by ingestion, inhalation or getting it on your skin or in your eyes (dermal exposure).
If you are not exposed to the pesticide, it can't harm you. In some cases, a pesticide can be used without people coming into contact with it at all.
Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands undertakes careful strategies to minimise public contact with pesticides, including spraying very early in the morning and placing signage in areas that are being sprayed.
How do we protect people who are sensitive to chemicals?
Signage allows members of the community to take action to avoid contact with pesticides, if they wish. Those with allergies should ensure their skin is covered by clothing and wear enclosed footwear.
Is there a schedule that the public can access to find out when and where in the Parklands pesticides will be used?
We prefer to observe what's happening in the park and garden and only use pesticides as required. This helps to minimise the use of pesticides.
We do however, notify visitors of what pesticides are in use by displaying temporary signs, which are placed at the locations prior to the pesticide application commencing. These signs will remain at this site for the remainder of the business day following application of the pesticide.
Do we use pesticides in the children’s playgrounds?
Yes, we use spot spray around footpaths and target grass areas for broadleaf weeds (e.g. bindii). Pesticide use is about balancing public safety against the benefits pest and weed control provide, to ensure the best outcome.
All preventative measures such as relevant equipment, techniques and methods of application are carried out in accordance to the requirements of the NSW Government's Pesticides Regulation 2009. This regulation requires all users to complete mandatory training. Our horticultural staff and contractors are all accredited. Weather conditions are a key determining factor influencing possible pesticide drift. Staff and contractors are trained to assess changing conditions and to cease operations if unacceptable spray drift occurs.
Why do we continue to spray, year on year?
Weeds are very persistent and difficult to eradicate.
The use of pesticides is regulated by the Pesticides Act which is administered by the NSW EPA. See the website here.