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Joining forces to battle emerging and widespread priority weeds

Miconia weedA partnership between North Coast Local Land Services, Far North Coast Weeds and the Northern Landcare Support Services to address emerging and strategic control of widespread weeds in the Northern Rivers has been a great success.

The sub-tropical climate and fertile soils of the far north coast of NSW coupled with a close proximity to the large, diverse population in South East Queensland means the North Coast region is a hotspot for weeds and exotic plants from around the world to flourish.

Water lettuce weedHundreds of paper mulberry plants (Broussonetia papyrifera), a class 2 noxious weed have been located and destroyed; dams containing water lettuce (Pista statiotes) infestations have been treated to minimise any potential further spread of the class 1 weed; and surveillance activities have been conducted to remove class 1 Miconia seedlings (Miconia calvescens) from around the region.

Honey Locust weedHeavy infestations of honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) a class 3 weed have been treated along ten kilometres of riparian river reach in the Upper and Lower Richmond (Fawcetts Creek and Richmond River –Tatham). This very spikey, legume seed bearing tree had potential to spread floating pods and seeds onto farmland all along the Richmond River and this project has dramatically reduced this threat.

The joint partnership resulted in approximately 150 hectares of area of weed treated to prevent the emergence, continued spread and re-infestation of these problem weeds that have the potential to cause billions of dollars of ongoing cost to landholders, threatening agriculture and native plant communities in the region.

Cecropia weedOther important achievements from the project were the production of numerous factsheets and flyers to raise community awareness of new emerging weeds and control options. Another valuable spin-off from the project was the production of a high priority weed management plan for Cecropia (Cecropia peltata) which has only recently been identified on the North Coast but is now a largely naturalised weed throughout parts of Africa, Malaysia and India.

North Coast Local Land Services forms partnerships with a range of organisations across the region who are working on achieving similar goals.  This collaborative approach leads to greater outcomes for the North Coast region.

Jai Sleeman, Senior Land Services Officer said "The partnership with Far North Coast Weeds and Northern Landcare Support Services has highlighted the benefits of collectively pooling resources to concentrate on quickly achieving shared goals."

Given the success with the priority weed partnership most of the targeted weeds are at a stage of containment and ongoing maintenance and surveillance will prevent future expansion.

For further information on the priority weed initiative contact Jai Sleeman at North Coast Local Land Services on 02 6623 3917.

Photo captions:

Cecropia, Miconia, Water Lettuce, River reach with treated Honey Locust trees (yellowing leaves) Image credit – all images:  Far North Coast Weeds

Media contact:

Jai Sleeman, Senior Land Services Officer, NCLLS

Phone 02 6623 3917