Weed Management

Weeds are unwanted plants that can negatively impact parks, natural areas, streetscapes and infrastructure by:

  • Outcompeting native plants or landscape species for resources such as water, light, space and nutrients, potentially reducing their survival.
  • Causing a nuisance and potential hazard if they are spiny or thorny, create trip hazards or reduce the turf quality of sports grounds/ playing fields.
  • Reducing / replacing natural habitat and food sources for native animals and insects, resulting in increased pressure on local populations and potentially local extinction.
  • Creating high fuel loads and fire risks.
  • Damaging or displacing infrastructure with invasive root systems.
  • Growing and reproducing rapidly, exacerbating the impacts outlined above.

Environmental weeds can be assigned management requirements at federal and state levels, requiring their control.

  • Commonwealth: Weeds of National Significance (WONS) Weeds profiles - Weeds Australia. Known WONS in the Town of Bassendean include Lantana (Lantana camara) and Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides).
  • State: certain high priority weeds are listed as Declared Pests, as outlined on the Western Australian Organism List (Agriculture and Food). Known Declared Plants in the Town of Bassendean include Narrowleaf Cottonbush (Gomphocarpus fruticosus), One-leaf Cape Tulip (Moraea flaccida) and Arum Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica).

Weed control is essential in maintaining amenity and recreational values of the Town’s parks and streetscapes, protecting environmental values of natural areas and to prevent damage to assets. 

Annual Treatment Program - Pesticide Notification Plan

Annual programmed application includes:

Mosquito Control: September - April

Larvicides are used to disrupt the water borne larval cycles and prevent adult mosquitoes from emerging.  It is more efficient to treat the mosquitoes at the larval stage where they are contained within an aquatic environment rather than as a flying adult.

 The Town only uses registered larvicides designed to disrupt the breeding cycle of mosquito larvae. The Town currently uses the following larvicides:

  • BTi Vectobac G – containing Bacillus thuringiensis, subspecies israelensis, strain AM65-52, (growth inhibitor)
  • ProLink briquets containing S-Methoprene (growth inhibitor)
  • Vectoprime - combined Bti strain AM65-52 with (S)-methoprene.

BTi Vectobac has a very short residual life, while ProLink briquets can have a residual effect of up to three months. Vectoprime has a residual life of up to 14 days and can effectively treat all larval stages allowing a wider application window for early or late instars.

For more information please visit Pests » Town of Bassendean

Broadacre turf weed control: July- September

Selective weed control to control broadleaf weeds within irrigated turf grass (playing fields, sporting surfaces) is undertaken between July and September, depending on the weather. This involves use of MCPA and Dicamba.

Integrated Pest Management

The Town adopts an Integrated Pest Management approach and uses a range of weed control techniques which include:

  • physical/mechanical:
    • brush cutting
    • steam and hot water
    • hand pulling
    • solar radiation
    • mulching (etc.)
  • chemical (herbicides).

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques.

The Town is committed to responsible weed and pest management, considering the effectiveness, potential impacts and financial costs of available options. Where practicable and within financial resources the Town aims to minimise the use of chemical based pesticides to control weeds and pests and replace with alternatives.

Options for weed management (alternative herbicides, thermal and physical methods) are regularly reviewed with consideration of:

  • Relative Cost
  • Relative Effectiveness
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Suitability for use in streetscapes, parks and gardens and natural areas (wetlands or bushland)
  • Outcomes of trials undertaken.

A representative of the Town is a member of the Local Government Herbicide and Integrated Weed Management Working Group, through which information is shared between WA local governments. Alternative weed control method trials recently undertaken by the Town include:

  • Beat a Weed (Acetic acid)
  • Local Safe (Acetic acid and hydrochloric acid)
  • Solarisation (Black plastic and woven weed matt)
  • Trimmer Boss Steel Trimmer Head
  • Steam Weeding
  • Matting under mulch
  • Electric weeding (trial run by DPIRD)

How the Town Manages Weeds

The Town undertakes weed control in streetscapes, parks and gardens and natural areas. A combination of weed control methods is undertaken, considering the pest type, location, cost efficiency and effectiveness.

Where herbicides are required to be applied, the Town follows ‘Pesticide Use and Management Policy and Operational Guidelines’ to minimise the risk to public health and to the environment. Special consideration is given to use near waterways and sensitive sites.

All pesticides used by the Town and its contractors are approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and are applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at the minimum volume required and by personnel who are trained in safe and proper application.

Signage is installed on vehicles and at spraying locations and records are kept, as per regulatory requirements. Additional notification is provided to the community as specified in the Town’s Pesticide Notification Plan.

Streetscapes

Weeds growing on hard surfaces within streetscapes are currently treated using either herbicide application, or steam weed control and brush cutting. This includes footpaths, road kerbs, paved/concrete medians, islands, concreted or paved pedestrian areas and other traffic management infrastructure, but does not include kerbs or medians along Guildford Road, as management of these areas will be undertaken by Main Roads WA as of August 2022. 

The majority (>75%) of the Town's streetscapes are being treated with steam; herbicide will be used in  some distributor and main roads, and may be used in local roads where it has been determined that weeds are causing damage to infrastructure. For further information on streetscape weed control works, please download the Hard Surfaces weed management strategy.

Residents/ratepayers can register for the verge hardstand areas adjacent to their property to be left untreated with herbicide by filling out an online form. The “No Spray” list only applies to local government road reserves and activities of the Town of Bassendean and its contractors. Registration to the “No Spray” list requires residents/ratepayers to commit to maintaining their verge hardstand areas in a weed-free condition. The Town reserves the right to apply herbicides should the above condition not be met.

Streetscape weed control does not include fire access tracks, the Principal Shared Path adjacent to the railway line or mulched/vegetated verges and median areas. Mulched/ vegetated verges and median areas are treated as per Garden Beds and Landscaped areas (Parks and Gardens). 

Parks and Gardens

The Town’s Parks and Gardens manage garden beds, landscaped areas and turf/ grassed areas across the Town, including recreation spaces and sporting fields. These areas are managed using a combination of physical, mechanical and chemical means. For further information, please download the Parks and Gardens weed management strategy.

Garden Beds and Landscaped Areas

When chemical weed control is required, it will typically involve use of Roundup Biactive (Glyphosate) for general weed control. Spot spraying of weeds using backpacks or spray units is undertaken in garden beds, landscaped areas and footpaths in parks, as required during scheduled park maintenance throughout the year.

Herbicides are not applied to areas surrounding playgrounds (e.g. sand/ rubber softfall/mulched softfall); weeds are removed mechanically.

Grassed Areas

Selective weed control to control broadleaf weeds within irrigated turf grass (playing fields, sporting surfaces) is undertaken between July and September, depending on the weather. This involves use of MCPA and Dicamba.

Minimal weed control is undertaken within grassed areas of ‘dry’ non-irrigated parks, and generally consists of mowing/ brushcutting.

Natural Areas

Control of environmental weeds involves a range of techniques, including physical, mechanical and chemical means. Specific details are outlined in 10- and 1-Year Natural Area Management Plans developed for each location, in consultation with relevant Friends or Environmental groups.

Herbicides that may be used include Roundup Biactive (Glyphosate), Metsulfuron and grass selective herbicides such as Fusilade Forte (Fluazifp-P) and Elantra Xtreme (Quizalofop-PEthyl). Other herbicides may be used dependent on the target species and recommended best practice control methodology. 

For further information, please download the Natural Areas weed management strategy.

Targeted Weed Control Program – Caltrop

Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris) is a weed that has infested many grassed areas, laneways and reserves within the Town of Bassendean.

Caltrop is a difficult weed to control, as it produces sharp, spiny burrs that can get lodged in wheels, footwear and clothing, and is easily spreadable.

The plant flowers throughout summer and autumn and up to 1,000 of the spiny fruits can be produced per plant over the flowering season. Plants grow rapidly and can reach the flowering/fruiting stage within three to five weeks of germination. Seeds can remain dormant in the soil for up to 5 years.

The Town has developed a targeted program to treat Caltrop in areas that are not regularly maintained by the Parks and Gardens team.

The locations below are treated once a fortnight between late spring (October/November) to autumn (April/May). Treatment involves predominately hand weeding, though a spot spray treatment of Roundup Biactive may be used to tackle areas where plant numbers are high.

15 Jackson Street
Claughton Way/Reid Street laneway
Town of Bassendean Depot verge
Hardy Road/Ashfield Parade Laneway
Laneway parallel to Ivanhoe and First Ave (between Railway Pde and Walter Road East)
Laneway parallel to First and Second Ave (between Railway and Walter Road East)
Laneway between Ivanhoe and First Ave.
40 Hyland Street

Iveson Place Reserve
Broadway Reserve
Charlbury Way/Morley East Dr Laneway
Hamilton Reserve
Hatton/Brisdon Laneway
Iolanthe/Penzance Laneway
Colston Road/Pearson Laneway
Collier Road verges

 Additional locations can be reported to the Town through mail@bassendean.wa.gov.au or 9377 8000. 

Glyphosate

The Town of Bassendean is guided by regulatory advice from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) in relation to the use of glyphosate.

The advice of the APVMA is that products containing glyphosate are safe to use in accordance with the label instructions. The APVMA review considered the 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) assessment and concluded that exposure to glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic or genotoxic risk to humans.

Further information of Glyphosate and the assessments and findings of the APVMA can be found here: Glyphosate | Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (apvma.gov.au).

The Town and Town contractors use Glyphosate Biactive; this formulation of Glyphosate has been specifically designed for use in environmentally sensitive areas and can be applied in aquatic areas according to label conditions and the relevant off-label permit (PER13333) issued by APVMA. The Town does not undertake spraying over water, and application of Glyphosate Biactive near waterways is undertaken in a manner to minimise the risk of herbicide entering the waterway. 

How Can You Help?

Residents can help with the management of weeds in the Town of Bassendean by taking the following actions: