Work­ing to deal with thorny is­sue

Ellenbrook Advocate - - #SNAPPERTH -

IT’S a prickly prob­lem and now the com­mu­nity is be­ing mo­bilised to help stop the spread of cac­tus threat­en­ing agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries and the en­vi­ron­ment.

Cac­tus Month was launched last Wed­nes­day and Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional Devel­op­ment biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer Glen Coupar said the de­clared plant pest was ram­pant in the east­ern states and Gold­fields.

“Here in Perth, cacti are com­mon in the Perth Hills, par­tic­u­larly on old or­chard sites in Pick­er­ing Brook and Bick­ley, where Ital­ians planted In­dian figs to eat the fruit,” he said. “In the Swan Val­ley, prickly pear and In­dian figs are com­monly found on road­sides and near old houses and have even in­fil­trated re­serves.”

To mark the start of Cac­tus Month, Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan launched a new man­ual on how to con­trol in­va­sive cacti at a com­mu­nity event co-hosted with the City of Swan and the Shire of Mun­dar­ing.

The Man­ag­ing Opun­tioid Cacti in Aus­tralia man­ual pro­vides in­for­ma­tion on con­trol op­tions, bring­ing to­gether the ex­per­tise of govern­ment, com­mu­nity groups and land man­agers across Aus­tralia.

Ms MacTier­nan urged land­hold­ers and com­mu­nity groups to spot, re­port and con­trol weedy cac­tus to stop in­fes­ta­tions from spread­ing.

“This man­ual pro­vides a fan­tas­tic re­source to help land­hold­ers boost their con­trol ef­forts, pre­sent­ing a step-by-step guide, from un­der­stand­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing cacti, to de­vel­op­ing and im­ple­ment­ing a strate­gic ap­proach to man­age­ment and con­trol,” she said.

Mr Coupar said staff were mon­i­tor­ing mar­kets, Gumtree and nurs­eries to en­sure cac­tus sellers were not sell­ing a de­clared pest.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt

Biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer Glen Coupar and Pri­or­ity Weed Re­sponse man­ager Kay Bai­ley with a prickly pear. www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d475838

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