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We carry out a weed management program to:

  • maintain the presentation of our public spaces like parks, reserves, sportsgrounds and streetscapes
  • ensure the surfaces at these locations are safe for people using them
  • manage and protect our biodiversity.

The annual weed management program

Weed management is ongoing throughout the year but we carry out a targeted weed management program between August to October each year to prepare our parks for growing season. 

During the annual program, any weed spraying takes place between 5:30 am to 3 pm (with some exceptions based on site conditions and weather).

In 2024, the program takes place from Monday 19 August to Friday 6 September.

We install signs at each of the locations listed under Weed management locations during the program to show:

  • the days we plan to spray
  • whether spraying is currently taking place
  • if spraying has taken place and is now complete.

Weed management methods

We use different methods to manage weeds depending on the location.

We use herbicides (including spot treatments) in areas such as:

  • garden beds
  • pathways
  • around trees and signposts
  • along fences
  • bluestone kerbs, channels and laneways
  • biodiversity zones
  • parks
  • sportsgrounds
  • Freeway Golf Course.

We use mechanical methods (like steaming or hand weeding) in areas such as:

  • playgrounds
  • childcare centres
  • wetlands
  • sensitive biodiversity zones
  • other areas where herbicide use is not recommended. 

Use of herbicides

When using herbicides, we always follow best practice and apply the product in line with the product and label guidelines to ensure our community and staff are safe.

All herbicides we use are considered safe when used according to their guidelines and are regulated by the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994.

We regularly monitor the latest advice on its use and recently supported a study undertaken by Deakin University on alternatives to glyphosate. The outcome of the study was that:

  • glyphosate is safe
  • glyphosate is the most effective product for weed management
  • glyphosate is the lowest cost product available for weed management.

Read the Deakin University study on glyphosate for more information. 

Minimising exposure

We minimise exposure to our community and staff by:

  • informing our community about spraying programs before and during herbicide application
  • wearing appropriate personal protective equipment during preparation and application
  • applying the product in accordance with the product’s safety data sheet
  • ensuring a second staff member is present when spraying larger sportsground areas to advise the public
  • ensuring pressurised spraying (like through knapsack spraying) occurs when wind speed is below 10 km/h
  • avoiding pressurised spraying (like through knapsack spraying) when it’s likely to rain, is raining, or when areas are wet
  • maintaining accurate records of where herbicide has been applied.

We are always looking for ways to reduce or remove the need of herbicides while still effectively managing weeds in our parks and sportsgrounds.

For more information about these herbicides, visit the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website.

Weed management locations 

In 2024, all council-managed sportsgrounds are part of the program except for Fairview Park and Victoria Road Reserve. See the relevant council pages for a full list of sportsgrounds and sports facilities.

Council-managed parks, gardens, reserves and areas with vegetation, including Kew Library, are part of our annual weed management program. The parks, gardens and reserves involved in this program are:

  • Alexandra Gardens
  • Anderson Park
  • Beckett Park
  • Boroondara Park
  • Bowen Gardens
  • Brinsley Road Reserve
  • Burwood Reserve
  • Camberwell Civic Centre
  • Camberwell Road/Seymour Grove
  • Canterbury Gardens
  • Canterbury Sports Ground
  • Cato Park
  • Central Gardens
  • Creswick Street Reserve
  • Dorothy Laver Reserve East
  • Eglinton Park
  • Fairview Park
  • Ferndale Park
  • Fordham Gardens
  • Grace Park
  • Greythorn Park
  • H A Smith Reserve
  • Hartwell Sports Ground
  • Hawthorn Library and Community Precinct CML
  • Highfield Park
  • Hyde Park
  • Kellet Reserve
  • Kooyongkoot Road Reserve
  • Lower Reserve
  • Lynden Park
  • Macleay Park
  • Mason Street
  • Morang Rd Reserve
  • Myrtle Park
  • OCLP C Willsmere to Park Cr
  • OCLP J - Abercrombie St to Whitehorse Rd
  • Park Avenue Reserve
  • Patterson Reserve
  • Petrie Square
  • Pridmore Park
  • Read Gardens
  • Riversdale Park
  • Shenley Grounds
  • Sinclair Avenue Reserve
  • Sir William Angliss Reserve
  • Smart St Reserve
  • St James Park
  • Surrey Gardens
  • Trent St Reserve
  • Victoria Park
  • Wallen Road Reserve
  • Warner Reserve
  • Yarra Bank

‘No Glyphosate’ trial along Gardiners Creek

In August 2022, Councillors decided to trial weed management practises that don’t use glyphosate along Gardiners Creek. This is because some community members expressed concerns about the use of glyphosate.  

Glyphosate is considered safe and is regulated by the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994.

However, we may reduce or stop using it in Boroondara depending on the results from the trial. 

Status update

We ran a one-year trial from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023. 

At the Council meeting on Monday 22 April 2024, we presented a report on the results of the trial to Councillors. 

The report showed that the condition of the trial areas were similar to before the trial began.

The report also showed:

  • a decrease in the amount of herbicide used at the trial areas
  • an increase in the hours spent managing weeds at the trial areas
  • an increase in the cost of managing weeds at the trial areas.

You can read the full report and watch the Council meeting on our Council meeting 22 April event page.

Based on these findings, Councillors decided to extend the trial for one more year so that we can collect more data. 

The extended trial will now finish at the end of spring 2024. We'll then present a report for the 2-year trial to Councillors. 

Where the trial is happening

The trial includes all areas of open space next to Gardiners Creek, including:

  • sportsgrounds
  • parks
  • reserves
  • garden beds
  • other biodiversity areas.
a map outlines the boundary of Boroondara and shows the area where we are trialling glysophate for weed management along the

This map shows the weed management trial area highlighted in yellow, running beside Gardiners Creek on the boundary between Boroondara and Stonnington councils


How the trial works

The trial is based on the following principles:

  • avoid negative impacts on human health
  • avoid negative impacts on the environment
  • use variety of approaches to maximise the impact of weed management practices
  • only use chemicals where there is significant need
  • when using chemicals, use them as little as possible
  • that it's assessed and supported with necessary operational health and safety methods
  • that decisions are transparent and supported with community education and communication
  • that decisions on herbicide and pesticide use are based on advice from industry government authorities such as Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

Different weed management methods will be used depending on conditions of each zone. The different methods include:

  • Hand weeding using knives, hand mattocks or appropriate weeding devices
  • Brush cutting using battery powered cutters where possible
  • Flame using Weed Dragon
  • Heat treatment using Heatweed Mid 3.0 Unit (4WD mounted)
  • Spot spraying herbicide including Starane, Fusilade, Kamba, Basta, Associate, wetting agent BS1000 and Envirodye

Assessing the trial

To understand the impacts and outcomes of the trial, we will:

  • audit the condition of the area before and after the trial
  • measure the percentage of weeds in the area before and after the trial
  • count the customer requests for maintenance within the trial area
  • count the hours taken to manage weeds using the trial methods and compare it to other sites
  • record injuries and incidents related to weed management in the trial area
  • measure the volume of herbicides used
  • track the cost of managing weeds through the trial.

More information

If you have any questions about this trial, please contact our Environmental Sustainability and Open Spaces team at [email protected] or call 03 9278 4444.

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