Council digs in for fight against invasive species
  • Thursday 23 July 2020
groundsel bush, weeds, invasive plants

Sunshine Coast Council’s commitment to protecting our environment was reinforced today, with council endorsing the continuation of its programs to combat invasive plants and feral animals.

Together, the programs are designed to protect our rich biodiversity, native plants and animals, waterways and agricultural businesses.

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, everybody must manage declared pest plants and animals on their land.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said council would build on the successful work that had been achieved up to this point.

“Controlling invasive species is challenging and requires a combined effort which is why we are working with our community and industry to manage invasive species in our region,” Cr Cox said.

“There are many priority invasive plant species across the Sunshine Coast such as groundsel bush, cat’s claw creeper, fireweed, giant rat’s tail grasses and salvinia.

“Council leads the charge in combating pest plants and also provides advice to residents on how to manage these plants on their property.”

The feral animal prevention and control program targets wild dogs, feral pigs, feral goats, feral cats, feral deer, European foxes and European rabbits.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said feral animals could have a significant impact on our environment.

“Council answers about 550 new requests for help with feral animal control each year, in addition to services continuing on a number of properties,” Cr Suarez said.

“Council is committed to keeping an eye out for feral animals across the region and will implement the necessary control programs.

“Working together to combat feral animals is key to success, which is why council officers work closely with landholders to provide education and assistance to minimise the impacts on their property, pets, livestock and agricultural crops.”

Feral animal impacts include damage to native animal populations, agricultural and horticultural crops, irrigation and fences, competition with livestock for pasture and supplementary feed, attacks on livestock and domestic pets, damage to trees and native regeneration, the dispersal of weed seeds and erosion.

Feral animals can also spread disease.

Council works closely with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Biosecurity Queensland, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Department of Environment and Science and the Queensland Police Service.

Non-government organisations (including community groups such as Landcare) also help council spread the word in the community.

The programs will operate from August 7, 2020 until July 31, 2021.

Find out more about invasive plants and animals.