Grants for Daintree

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

THE fu­ture of the Daintree is look­ing even greener with al­most $50,000 in grants awarded to two con­ser­va­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing to con­trol weeds and plant rain­for­est trees north of the Daintree River.

Rain­for­est Res­cue has re­ceived $17,376 to con­trol weeds, re­move de­bris and plant en­demic trees at a Cow Bay prop­erty, while the Aus­tralian Trop­i­cal Re­search Foun­da­tion was awarded $30,000 for its Weed con­trol and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Daintree Low­lands Cape Tribu­la­tion project.

The Aus­trop Foun­da­tion’s CEO Dr Hugh Spencer said money will be spent on the con­tin­u­a­tion of the project, which has been go­ing for around 12 years now.

‘‘We have been work­ing on get­ting rid of weeds in the Daintree area, mostly north of the Alexan­dra Range, such as the Sin­ga­pore Daisy and a lot of other weeds,’’ he said.

‘‘Be­cause of all the clear­ing that oc­curred in the 70s and set­tle­ment, hip­pies, et cetera, all sorts of stuff were brought into the area which have started to take over quite large ar­eas of the land.

‘‘The Sin­ga­pore Daisy is munch­ing its way north and we’ve had some quite bad in­fes­ta­tions here for a long time and we are try­ing to get rid of those as they pre­vent the re-es­tab­lish­ment of the rain­for­est.’’

Dr Spencer said some of the fund­ing will go to­wards com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion, to build aware­ness of what the in­va­sive weeds look like and what peo­ple can do to erad­i­cate it from their own back­yards.

‘‘Hope­fully we can use some of this money to dis­trib­ute trial kits to peo­ple, give them enough her­bi­cide to make 16L of spray and see how it goes and also run some weed work­shops in Cape Tribu­la­tion,’’ he said.

‘‘Ma­jor­ity of peo­ple don’t recog­nise weeds even though Aus­tralia is one of the most weed in­fested places in the world, apart from Fuji.’’

For more in­for­ma­tion or to be­come an Aus­tralian Trop­i­cal Re­search Foun­da­tion vol­un­teer, visit aus­trop.org.au

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