Landholders commended on noxious weed response
Eurobodalla landowners have been praised for their efforts in controlling noxious weeds, including a rapid response to threats from several new species.
In a report to Council last Tuesday, invasive species supervisor Paul Martin said his team carried out more than 1500 noxious weed inspections on private property in 2015-16, with 99.4 per cent compliance.
“This is a terrific outcome and we’d like to extend our congratulations to the community for keeping our shire relatively free of noxious weeds,” he said.
“Management of weeds and animal pests is crucial in maintaining Eurobodalla’s biodiversity and agricultural values.
“Council invests in both on-ground control and private property inspections to make sure known noxious weeds are controlled and any new weed incursions are promptly eradicated.”
Of significant note were new high-threat weeds Cat’s Claw Creeper, Water Hyacinth, Salvinia and Water Lettuce, which were all found and quickly dealt with.
“This is the first time we have found Water Lettuce and we’re thankful it was contained to a pot on a balcony,” Mr Martin said.
“If it had spread to a dam it would have resulted in an enormous problem for the landholder, needing at least a decade of control.”
Mr Martin said there had been great progress with Serrated Tussock and it now covered only a fraction of area at Bingie and Kianga. However St John’s Wort, while thinning at most sites, is still springing up on some farms.
“St John’s Wort is definitely one plant that farmers need to be extremely vigilant with,” Mr Martin said.
“It has the potential to become the next Fireweed, and in fact is probably worse than Fireweed as it occupies more space, replacing a wider area of pasture.”
Mr Martin said rabbits, too, continued to pose a challenge.
“Rabbits are a constant issue in our coastal suburbs and simply love sandy soil and sand dunes. They will happily shelter under things like caravans, empty holiday homes, heaped vegetation and discarded building debris such as Colourbond roofing and bricks,” he said.
“Council is not responsible for rabbit control on private property, so while we conduct control work on Council lands, it is frustrating when they move back in from private property.
“This is in itself an issue for the property owner as rabbits will create warrens under the house that can lead to soil subsidence and destabilised foundations, resulting in very costly repairs.
“Residents with rabbits on their property are welcome to call us for advice about how they can approach the problem,” Mr Martin said.
Eurobodalla Shire Council has launched a new Weeds Finder search tool to help residents identify weeds on their property. Visit http://www.erbg.org.au/weeds.php and enter key observations to match with results on an extensive plant database. Those who still can’t find what they’re looking for can email a picture of the plant to firstname.lastname@example.org Media Release