Boost to roadside pest and weed control
Mansfield set to receive $26,344
LAST week Acting Minister for Local Government Mary-Anne Thomas announced a further $11.5 million in funding over the next four years for the Roadside Weeds and Pests Control Program, providing greater protections for agriculture, farms and the environment.
This year, 56 councils will receive between $5000 and $75,000 to manage invasive plants and pests along municipal rural roadsides, with the program to be revised annually, with Mansfield set to receive $26,344.
“Weeds and pests along rural roadsides have the potential to wreak havoc on native plant species - the control program will help councils tackle this really important work in coming months,” said Ms Thomas.
“Roadside weeds and pests can cost our farmers millions of dollars each year, so it’s an investment in prevention that pays massive dividends across the state.”
Rural roadsides can provide a breeding ground for harmful weeds and pests, and this funding allows councils to implement control measures that prevent their spread.
Species targeted include rabbits, foxes, boxthorn, blackberry, briar rose, silver leaf nightshade, olive, wild cherry and khaki weed.
Weeds like serrated tussock and blackberries cost the Victorian economy over $900 million each year as they have the potential to spread very quickly resulting in serious negative impacts on agricultural production, as well as contribute to the spread of fires.
Recent drought has accelerated the presence and spread of new and emerging weeds that can threaten native biodiversity.
Local Government Victoria and Agriculture Victoria work closely with local councils in ensuring plans to tackle weeds and pests are tailored to their local area and appropriate funding is allocated to fulfil each strategy.