Council to monitor invasive plants through new inspection program
  • Wednesday 25 January 2017
groundsel bush, weeds, pest plants, pest survey program

Image: Groundsel bush

A four-month inspection program to monitor the presence and extent of invasive plants in selected locations across the region is about to be undertaken by Sunshine Coast Council.

From February 2017, the program will target specific pest plants listed in the Biosecurity Act 2014 including Groundsel bush, rat’s tail grasses, Parthenium and Salvinia.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the program was vitally important in our efforts to manage invasive plant species.

“Invasive plants such as Groundsel bush, Giant Rat’s Tail grass and Parthenium weed can be extremely damaging to our environment,” Cr McKay said.

“Not only do they replace more productive grasses, they also invade and compete with pastures for water and nutrients, destroy native wildlife habitat and impact upon livestock that eat the plants, all of which can have a huge economic impact on our farmers.”

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, this inspection program will continue the work council had previously delivered under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002.

“From February 13, council officers will conduct inspections of privately owned land on properties with land size equal to or greater than 4000m2 within the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area,” Cr McKay said.

“Officers will inspect properties to confirm the presence or absence of invasive plants, monitor the effectiveness of control measures being undertaken, collect samples and provide information and education to help property owners with controlling these invasive weeds.

“Council also offers free weed control equipment for loan to property owners.

“Results from past survey programs showed that 15% of properties inspected contained declared pest plants.

“While this may not seem like a large number, it is vital that these plants do not spread and the pest survey program is designed to ensure council and land owners can monitor and manage the presence of these plants in order to protect our environment.”

All residents have a General Biosecurity Obligation under the Biosecurity Act 2014 to manage invasive plants on land that is under their control.

The program will conclude on June 30 and will be conducted in the localities of Beerwah, Booroobin, Conondale, Diamond Valley, Doonan, Dulong, Glenview, Harper Creek, Hunchy, Kiels Mountain, Landsborough, Meridan Plains, Mooloolah Valley, Palmview, Peachester, Perwillowen, West Woombye, Weyba Downs and Wootha.

Properties previously known to contain invasive plants will also be surveyed for ongoing compliance.

Find out more about weed identification, control and hire equipment.