Council uses glyphosate herbicide to kill playing surface of Sylvania oval before laying new turf

A parent has condemned the use of a glyphosate based herbicide to kill the weed-infested playing surface of Corea Street Oval at Sylvania.

Sutherland Shire Council erected warning signs last week when the product was used on the home ground of the Gymea Gorillas Junior Rugby League Football Club.

"It is truly disappointing the council continues to use this product and put many lives at risk," said the local resident, who did not wish to be named.

"There are thousands of shire adults and children who use and play on the ground.

"I have two young children and I won't be allowing them to play on the field anymore and I'm not the only one in the area that has this view.

"There is very clear evidence that this product is dangerous yet the council continues to use it when I'm sure there would be other ways to kill the grass.

"I really hope that the council rethinks the phasing-out view and thinks about the people who live in the area."

A council spokeswoman said, in order to renew the playing surface, all existing weeds had to be removed before new turf was laid, to give it the best chance of healthy establishment and survival.

"This was done last week, with Wipe-Out Bio applied to the existing surface," she said.

"Signage was placed around the site before and during works, providing details of the product being used, in line with council's responsibilities under our Pesticide Use Notification Plan.

"Council has a strong focus on continually reducing our reliance on chemicals as a means to controlling weeds and continue to explore and trial a number of alternate weed control products and technologies, with a view to phase out the use of glyphosate-based herbicides."

The use of the herbicide comes a month after a council report advised of the trial of a high pressure steam machine as an alternative to glyphosate products to kill weeds in "sensitive areas", such as near schools, hospitals, child care centres and shopping centres.