Help available to control lantana

Time is running out for Narooma region landholders to take advantage of support and assistance for the control of lantana.

A Weed of National Significance, lantana is a highly-invasive, plant that is toxic to stock and commonly infests hard-to-reach places.

Wallaga Lake is the southern-most point in Australia that lantana grows and there is a national focus on eradicating it from the region. It also threatens the vulnerable Warty Zieria shrub, which only grows in the Tilba area.

Eurobodalla Council has been working with landowners to eradicate lantana since 2013. It now offers the knowledge and tools to control the weed, as well as free track cutting for landholders needing access.

Council’s natural resource officer Mitchell Jarvis said the biggest barrier for lantana control was gaining access to infestations.

“Lantana thickets can be very dense and free access track cutting is a major part of this program,” he said.

“With the help of splatter guns, landowners are often surprised at how easy the control of lantana is once they have access, the knowledge and correct equipment.

“Council can help landholders in two ways. Properties home to the threatened Warty Zieria plant can take advantage of free control of lantana on their properties, which are most likely to be in the foothills of Gulaga (Mt Dromedary).

“If a property is not eligible for assistance under the Warty Zieria funding stream, Council is also running a program that provides track cutting to access the infestation if required, as well as one-on-one splatter gun training for landowners. Gas-powered splatter guns are very easy to use, highly-effective, and free to borrow from Council. Funding for the track cutting ends in six months’ time.”

Mr Jarvis said controlling lantana resulted in more productive land, increased biodiversity and it eliminated the toxic risk that lantana posed to livestock.

“Australia-wide, lantana has resulted in an estimated $104.3 million in lost agricultural production, so it is imperative we work together to tackle the scourge of this highly-invasive weed in Eurobodalla,” he said.

“Importantly Council will be enforcing compliance of lantana control in the area, so we’re trying to give landowners a helping hand to get started with these great programs. The landowners will have to continue controlling lantana to ensure the long-term success of eradication.”

For more information or to get involved, contact Eurobodalla Council’s natural resource officer Mitchell Jarvis on 4474 1263.

Above: Landowners can take advantage of two free programs to help them control the highly-invasive weed lantana. Pictured is participating primary producer Gary Whiffen, controlling lantana on his Tilba property.

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