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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1457 ..

tussock and blackberry. We use it in accordance with the label and directions to make sure that City Services staff are safe, and all those involved in spray work including the use of glyphosate-based products use PPE that is appropriate for the use.

Glyphosate is used in playgrounds on a limited basis and is used sparingly. The soft-fall bulk mulch in playgrounds acts as weed suppressant and glyphosate is only used where required to control weeds that are difficult to remove by other means such as couch grass.

I have previously been on record saying I have a level of healthy concern in relation to glyphosate use. It is something the ACT government takes an evidence-based approach on. There are not many good alternatives to the use of glyphosate in terms of weed control. I am always interested in looking at new ways we can treat invasive weeds in our city. But at the moment the alternatives are not efficient. If you have any ideas about what we could trial and what else we could do to help remove the use of glyphosate, we are all interested in doing that.

We have also introduced new ways of using of glyphosate which reduce the level of glyphosate needed, and I will explain that further later.

MS CLAY: Are TCCS and PCS using the same standards in terms of glyphosate?

MR STEEL: Glyphosate needs to be used according to the label, and TCCS uses glyphosate according to all the directions that are provided under that label. In 2016 the APVMA, which adopts a risk-based scientific approach to the regulation of chemical use in Australia, reviewed the safety of glyphosate and concluded that based on current risk assessments the label instructions on all glyphosate products when followed provides adequate protection for users.

MS LAWDER: Minister, does the ACT government check before they purchase trees or plants whether they have been treated with pesticides toxic to bees, such as glyphosate?

MR STEEL: I will check that. Obviously Yarralumla Nursery propagate our own plants for ACT government use. However, some may be purchased in other contexts. I am happy to check that. But in relation to the evidence on glyphosate, we will continue to be guided by the latest research and the advice of expert regulators like the APVMA, in the use of glyphosate in the community.

Health—quarantine facilities

MR PARTON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese said on 30 April:

Scott Morrison needs to establish dedicated, fit for purpose national quarantine facilities in every state and territory.

That is what he said: in every state and territory. He went on to say:

The best time to do this was last year. The next best is right now.

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