On The Land

23 June, 2023

Landowners encouraged to tackle weeds, pests

Landowners are being encouraged to keep tackling pest plants and animals to keep up the good work Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) is doing to manage them in the region.

Cr Bilney uses the washdown facility at Millaa Millaa
Cr Bilney uses the washdown facility at Millaa Millaa

Landowners are being encouraged to keep tackling pest plants and animals to keep up the good work Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) is doing to manage them in the region. 

TRC Pest Management Advisory Committee chair Cr Dave Bilney said our region was located in and adjacent to two World Heritage areas and was heavily dependent on agriculture and environmental tourism. 

The committee is made up of key pest management partner agencies and stakeholders, including industry and community representatives. 

“The Tablelands is renowned for its high agricultural output and its exceptional plant and animal species so protection of both the environment and rural communities is a high priority,” Cr Bilney said. We have a responsibility to minimise the impact of pest plants and animals that threaten the local ecosystems and impose high annual costs on our agricultural industries. 

“TRC and landholders have been working together to control and, if possible, eradicate invasive pest species.” 

After Cyclone Larry struck, machinery was brought up from Cairns to assist with the post-cyclone clean-up of the roadways. Unfortunately, Navua sedge was also brought up with the machinery and started to appear along roadsides. 

Some members of the Malanda Beef Plan Group identified Navua sedge as becoming an increasing problem of concern on the side of roads. The group approached and worked with the then Eacham Shire Council (ESC) to start up a roadside spraying program targeting Navua sedge. 

This spray program continues today, with TRC which is the council most actively targeting this aggressive weed. 

“In addition to road corridor Navua Sedge spraying, we trial new herbicides, contribute to research into biological controls, promote weed seed spread prevention and resilient pest management, and offer advice and support to landholders,” Cr Bilney said. 

“This has led to a constant reduction in the extent and severity of Navua sedge infestations on the Tablelands. The use of washdown facilities is critical in the success of managing Navua sedge.” 

TRC has one public washdown facility which is located at Millaa Millaa as well as others for TRC vehicles and equipment.

“Local landholders have the opportunity to use this washdown facility in the context of their own Biosecurity Plans,” Cr Bilney said. 

“This location is at the top of the Palmerston which, as we know, is the gateway to the coast and vice-versa. 

“It is important that we all have a reminder about continued weed spread and the Millaa Millaa washdown facility provides the opportunity to clean equipment to the benefit not only of landholders, but contractors and the general public. 

"It complements private washdown facilities that many landholders have as part of their biosecurity plans. 

"We encourage its use and feedback on how this facility can be improved." 

Weed seed spread continues to be a continual challenge as weeds travel via many of the numerous road corridors in the region and plant and machinery can also carry and spread pests and diseases. 

The Biosecurity Act 2014 requires local governments to develop, adopt, and implement local pest management plans as part of an integrated planning framework for managing pest plants and animals across the state. 

The TRC Tablelands Biosecurity Plan 2019-24 was endorsed in 2019 and is guided by the Biosecurity Act 2014. The purpose is to safeguard the region’s economy, environment, agriculture and tourism from plant and animal pests and diseases. 

The plan contains an overview of the act and obligations for pest plant and animal management, a summary of 20 plant and five animal pest species prioritised for our region and action plans for control of the priority species. 

TRC has a 300-litre Quik Spray unit for loan for weed management on private land. Hire is $25.50 a day. Contact council by email at au, or call 1300 362 242.  


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