Unite in wipeout on weed
A COMMUNITY program to tackle invasive weeds in the Tamar Valley could be adopted in other areas of Tasmania.
The program has seen councils, natural resource management groups and farmers join forces to target the invasive serrated tussock.
Originally set up in 2010, the program has been effective in monitoring and treatment to eradicate the weed.
Program co-ordinator Greg Lundstrom from Tamar NRM said by engaging with the wider community and working with landholders, more people were now keeping an eye out for the weed.
Compliance in controlling the weed is managed by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment and includes reminding landholders of their obligations but Mr Lundstrom said the community program allowed a proactive approach.
This means infestations can be identified and tackled before they have a chance to spread.
Serrated tussock is classified as a weed of national significance. It is unpalatable to stock and is of such poor nutritional value that animals forced to graze on serrated tussock can starve to death with a full stomach.
Large infestations can cut pasture productivity by up to 95 per cent.
Each plant can produce thousands of seeds that spread through water courses, by wind or on stock and machinery.
The weed was recently found on three properties in the Tamar Valley and through the program the landowners have been assisted to implement correct control measures.
Tamar NRM also coordinated a public forum last week where Jarrah Vercoe from DPIPWE discussed identification and management.
Mr Lundstrom says serrated tussock looks very similar to Tasmanian native poa grasses so identification is difficult.
Serrated tussock is already taking hold in parts of the state, with an incursion in the Cressy area and widespread infestations in the Sorell region.
“This is a weed that we can’t afford and don’t want it to spread,” he said.
For more details visit www.serratedtussock. com/idapp.