Weed­ing out pests to be dealt with

NewsMail - Wide Bay Rural Weekly - - NEWS -

EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL weeds are of­ten gar­den or agri­cul­tural es­capees that have the abil­ity to in­vade our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, lead­ing to a re­duc­tion in bio­di­ver­sity, im­pacts on the land­scape, and a threat to our wa­ter­ways to name a few.

These weeds now make up ap­prox­i­mately 15% of Aus­tralia’s flora, with half of these in­vad­ing our nat­u­ral ar­eas and a quar­ter now con­sid­ered to be se­ri­ous weeds.

A lot of these un­wanted plants can still be found in our back­yards and are of­ten spread by birds at­tracted to their bright coloured berries, wind, gar­den prun­nings be­ing dis­posed of in­ap­pro­pri­ately, or agri­cul­tural plants that have not been prop­erly man­aged.

While most are not de­clared pest plants, which are re­quired to be con­trolled, some have been iden­ti­fied un­der state leg­is­la­tion such as Queens­land’s Biose­cu­rity Act 2014 as a re­stricted in­va­sive plant or have been de­clared by coun­cils un­der a lo­cal law, which may pre­vent their sale or re­quire prop­erty own­ers to take cer­tain ac­tion to con­trol their spread.

Some of the ways you can help are:

■ Get to know the weeds in your lo­cal area by con­tact­ing your lo­cal coun­cil or speak to your lo­cal nurs­ery.

■ Avoid plant­ing in­va­sive plants. Speak to your lo­cal nurs­ery and choose safe al­ter­na­tives such as ster­ile forms or plants na­tive to your area.

■ Be care­ful when pur­chas­ing plants from fetes or mar­kets if you are not sure where they orig­i­nated from or their cor­rect iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

■ And con­sider weed­i­ness when swap­ping plants or prop­a­gat­ing plants for oth­ers.

Plants of con­cern to the Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil, which have been iden­ti­fied to be in­creas­ing in large num­bers, are Easter Cas­sia, Brazil­ian Cherry, Te­coma stan’s, Broadleaf Pep­per, Prickly Du­ranta and the fod­der shrub Leu­caena which, when not man­aged, poses a ma­jor threat to our re­gion’s nat­u­ral ar­eas and re­serves.

To min­imise po­ten­tial risk caused by these plants the coun­cil will be un­der­tak­ing an ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness pro­gram, as well as of­fer­ing a free tree swap pro­gram where land­hold­ers can col­lect a free na­tive plant in re­turn for one of the en­vi­ron­men­tal weeds listed above.

Coun­cil will also be un­der­tak­ing a map­ping pro­gram to iden­tify lo­ca­tions of en­vi­ron­men­tal weeds and land­hold­ers are able to reg­is­ter any pest plant sight­ings on the coun­cil’s nat­u­ral re­sources, land pro­tec­tion web page by com­plet­ing the sus­pected weed re­port form and re­turn­ing it to the coun­cil.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about con­trol or re­moval of any en­vi­ron­men­tal plant or par­tic­i­pat­ing in the coun­cil’s free tree swap pro­gram, con­tact the coun­cil’s land pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers on 1300 883 699.

PHOTO: ZACH HOGG

FIELD DAY: Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil se­nior land pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer Eric Dyke en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to know their weeds.

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