Page 1380 - Week 04 - Thursday, 10 April 2008

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(4) Are their particular programs to alert the community to or to eradicate particular weeds or classes of weeds, for example woody weeds, serrated tussock and African love grass;

(5) What co-operation or partnerships are there between Environment ACT and landholders, community groups, and contractors to eradicate weeds.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

1. The ACT government spent the following amounts on weed control from 2001-02 to 2007/08.

This includes weed contracts managed by Parks, Conservation & Lands and weed control undertaken by field staff.

2001-02 $1.32m

2002-03 $0.71m

2003-04 $1.13m

2004-05 $2.29m

2005-06 $1.49m

2006-07 $1.68m

2007-08 $1.77m (estimate)

2. The Act Government encourages the use of integrated pest management to control weeds in the ACT.

Non-herbicide control includes slashing thistles before they set seed, grazing eg using sheep to graze St John’s wort rosettes during winter, moving livestock from paddocks before overgrazing occurs, encouraging leaseholders through land management agreements to practice rotational grazing, encouraging vehicle hygiene when vehicles move from weed infested sites to relatively weed free areas, and thorough wash down of Parks and Reserves slashers between reserves.

Herbicide control includes: use of Quick-spray units on vehicles for spot and boom spraying, knapsacks and portable quick-spray units for weed control in inaccessible areas, aerial spraying in some of the former forestry areas, and frill stem inject and cut and paint for weed tree control, eg. willows.

3. The ACT has a weeds strategy, which is currently being updated, for setting objectives and goals. This complements the Federal Government’s strategies for control of weeds of national significance.

Schedule 1 of the Pest Plants and Animals Act lists whether a declared pest plant is notifiable, prohibited, must be suppressed or contained. Staff conduct spot checks on plant nurseries to ensure that they are not trading declared pest plants and thus spreading weed species.

There is also annual prioritisation of weed control work in high conservation value areas and the most invasive weed species are targeted first. For example, serrated tussock control in Gungahlin and Jerrabomberra grasslands. In addition new infestations of invasive weeds are given highest priority to avoid weed free areas becoming degraded.

There are also standard operating procedures for vehicle hygiene, herbicide storage and record keeping, and use of weed spraying equipment. New staff are made aware of the

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