ESPERANCE Shire Council looks set to reverse last month’s decision not to grant licences to farmers for the use of 2,4-D High Volatile Ester (HVE) use during the summer.
(HVE is authorised by Esperance Council for farmers to use during winter months, but has been seen as being too volatile during summer as it burns off into the atmosphere in extreme heat.)
At its All Purpose Committee Meeting on Tuesday, councillors voted 7-2 to support the use of HVEs from December 1 to April 30.
The decision still has to be ratified at the Ordinary Council meeting next week.
Two councillors who previously said they were against the use of chemicals, said they had changed their minds on the issue.
Councillor George Starcevich said a presentation from Nufarm on the chemical had helped ease his concerns and Councillor Mike Penny said he accepted the reality of farmers using chemicals to control weeds saying that chemicals were a necessary evil and part of today’s farming practice.
Councillor Mickel said there were chemicals which caused nose bleeds to some people even on entering the shed where they were stored, but these chemicals were not banned by council, so he could not see why 2,4-D was not being allowed for summer spraying.
“We’re not trying to defoliate forests with this, we are just trying to get rid of some weeds.”
Councillor Christine Smith maintained her opposition to chemicals saying, “This is the third month that we are making this decision.
“We have these yapping dogs coming at our heels until we give in to what they want.”
Councillors voted to acknowledge the role of the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority in the registration of products.
It also supported the use of 2,4-D HVE during summer with the restriction of it not being used within two kilometres of any township or sensitive crop and one kilometre from any waterway.
The state’s ten kilometre restriction for grapes and tomatoes still applies.