Eastern Golf Course Spray Hundreds of Hectares of Critical Melbourne Water Supply Floodplain

Friends of the Earth is alarmed that construction of the highly controversial Eastern Golf Course will start in the very near future.

Aerial photographs obtained by Friends of the Earth reveal that approximately 170 hectares of the site have recently been sprayed with the herbicide Glyphosate. The spraying was required to kill off existing pasture on the site.

Press Release August 8 2013

Eastern Golf Course Spray Hundreds of Hectares of Critical Melbourne Water Supply Floodplain


Friends of the Earth is alarmed that construction of the highly controversial Eastern Golf Course will start in the very near future.

Aerial photographs obtained by Friends of the Earth reveal that approximately 170 hectares of the site have recently been sprayed with the herbicide Glyphosate. The spraying was required to kill off existing pasture on the site.

The Eastern Golf Course is to be located within one kilometre of the offtake to Sugarloaf Reservoir, which supplies 1.5 million Melbournians in the northern and western suburbs with drinking water. It was the subject of a lengthy VCAT hearing in 2010, and was to be considered at another VCAT hearing in February 2013, before Planning Minister Matthew Guy approved the course at the last minute, thereby denying the case from going ahead.

Friends of the Earth spokesperson Anthony Amis said “a percentage of what has been sprayed, possibly 1to 5%, could end up running off the site, particularly if heavy rain occurs (which it has since the spraying). The surfactant used with Glyphosate, POEA (Polyethoxylated Tallow Amine) is more toxic than Glyphosate itself, as is the Glyphosate degradation product AMPA (aminomethylphosphonate). Melbourne Water do not test for Glyphosate, POEA or AMPA. They are flying blind when it comes to possible contamination”.

“Recent research has revealed that Glyphosate, particularly POEA, can kill human cells, particularly embryonic placental and umbilical cord cells. The most commonly used herbicide based on Glyphosate is Roundup. Researchers have determined that Roundup might cause pregnancy problems by interfering with hormone production, possibly leading to abnormal foetal development, low birth weights or miscarriages. Roundup could also be contributing to spontaneous abortions and infertility in pigs, cattle and other livestock. Scientists in Argentina have reported malformations in frog and chick embryos. Very low doses of Roundup have been shown to disrupt human liver cell function and some researchers claim that Roundup causes birth defects, damage to DNA, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity and cancer” said Mr Amis.

“Also of concern is the fact that pesticides likely to be used on the course in the future could contain dioxins, some of the most toxic substances known. Of special concern is the herbicide 2,4,-D which is planned to be used on fairways on the course and was recently the subject of a 4 Corners program.” Mr Amis concluded.

For further information contact Anthony Amis on 9830 6164 or 0425 841 564