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Community & Business

27 February, 2021

Frogbit banned

In a bid to stem the growing tide of Amazon Frogbit, Mareeba Shire Council (MSC) has declared the plant a local pest via an emergency declaration.

By Rhys Thomas

BANNED: Mareeba Shire Council has taken the initiative and put pressure on the State Government after they made an emergency declaration banning Frogbit across the Shire.

In a bid to stem the growing tide of Amazon Frogbit, Mareeba Shire Council (MSC) has declared the plant a local pest via an emergency declaration. 

The decision to list Frogbit as a local pest was made at last week’s ordinary Council meeting and it was passed unanimously with the declaration coming into effect as soon as the motion was carried. 

Declaring the weed as a local pest will prohibit the sale, propagation and harbouring of the weed within MSC.

There will be a communication period to residents informing them of the new law and fines will not be issued immediately to residents. If they fail to comply, Council will issue steep fines if the law is ignored. 

For over a year Amazon Frogbit has been suffocating local creeks including the Atherton and Granite creeks before recent rains flushed it out and it took hold within the Barron River. 

MSC Mayor Angela Toppin said that this is just the first measure to come to help stop the spread of Frogbit. 

“We have taken the initiative because it is impacting our Shire and the environmental impact is growing,” she said. 

“It reproduces exponentially and it is clogging up our waterways.

“We pressured the State Government to ban it and their comeback was, unless you take some initiative in your own Shire then don’t come knocking on our door.” 

Local organization such as Muluridji Tribal Aboriginal Corporation have been fighting alongside Council to clear and maintain local waterways affected by Frogbit. 

They will continue to fight a losing battle until the weed is banned state-wide and Council can secure sustainable long-term funding for its eradication. 

Frogbit is banned within the Mareeba Shire for a maximum of three months under the emergency declaration. 

This gives Council breathing room to start of process of getting the weed banned permanently in local law.

For more information on how to safely dispose of Amazon Frogbit contact the Council on 1300 308 461.  

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