Dr Patricia Petersen, Leader of the Australian Independents, said
that her party will introduce new environmental legislation to
protect residents from toxic chemicals which have the capacity to
cause damage to animals, including aquatic animals, and
Dr Petersen said that Sunshine Coast Regional Council developed its own endocrine-disrupting herbicide solution, known as Gloricide, several years ago and that the solution is still being spraying haphazardly along the coast line.
“The original idea was to target an invasive weed species, but it is also poisoning plants, animals and humans” she said.
“Sunshine Coast Regional Council developed the solution without consulting an official chemical engineer, and without compiling a valid Material Data Safety Sheet (MDSS) in accordance with federal laws. The council also failed to gain a permit for the solution’s use, which technically makes it illegal,” said Dr Petersen.
“Gloricide contains a dangerous mixture of both metsulfuron methyl, a highly-toxic herbicide, and 2,4-D, a major toxic component of “Agent Orange”, she said.
“Together, these two chemicals are supposed to target an invasive weed species known as gloriosa lily, but they also mimic estrogen and have the capacity to disrupt hormone balance in humans,” said Dr Petersen
“Gloricide is very dangerous to the health of all animals, especially frogs that absorb the chemical through their skin. The council has created this toxic chemical cocktail without testing it and is using it without care or caution. We are breathing in this toxic chemical when we go to the park and swimming in it when it leaches out through the dunes into the ocean,” she said.
Dr Petersen said that an environmental scientist, Mr Adam Presnell, showed her and Janene Maxwell-Jones, Dr Petersen’s running mate for the Senate, damage to plants that had been caused by Gloricide.
“Both Janene and I were shocked by the damage. We were aware of the Gloricide issue, but mortified to learn how dangerous the chemical obviously is to plants and animals. Clearly a substance such as this shouldn’t be anywhere near humans,” said Dr Petersen.
Ms Janene Maxwell Jones said that she was concerned for the safety of children living on the Sunshine Coast.
“I’m concerned about what this chemical is doing to my children and other children living on the coast. The negative impact that it has on hormone balance is rather frightening. We need to protect our children; we need to protect ourselves,” she said.
Dr Petersen said that it was now official party policy to ban the use of Gloricide.
“The Australian Independents, as a party, has voted to introduce legislation to protect residents on the sunshine coast from this extremely dangerous chemical. Federal law eclipses local and state law. So, instead of mucking about with this, we need to take action and do something about the problem. New environmental law which bans it altogether nips it in the bud,” she said.
“Members of the Sunshine Coast community don’t want dangerous chemicals dumped on them, and as politicians, we are under obligation to respect their wishes and protect them,” said Dr Petersen.
Dr Patricia Petersen (Leader of the Australian Independents and Lead Senate Candidate for Queensland)
6th of July 2013