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Protecting Threatened Ecosystems from Weeds

Key sites across the North Coast will be improved through a targeted weed control program being delivered by North Coast Local Land Services in partnership with local councils and Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

Nine sites between Scotts Head and Byron Bay have been targeted for weed control due to the occurrence of rare and unique areas of vegetation known as Threatened Ecological Communities (TECs). The TECs are located on coastal floodplains and include Swamp Oak Forest, Swamp Sclerophyll Forest, Subtropical Coastal Floodplain Forest and Lowland Subtropical Rainforest.

The project will be delivered over seven years allowing for initial weed control to be continually followed-up ensuring the best possible reduction in weed infestations into the future. The collaboration between North Coast Local Land Services and the landowners and managers will achieve common local and regional objectives such as enhanced biodiversity in local bushland, healthier coastal habitats and improved water quality.

Simon Abbott, Senior Land Services Officer with North Coast Local Land Services said. “These Threatened Ecological Communities are typically small in area and are under pressure from many threats largely due to their close proximity to urban areas”.

“By targeting these priority sites for long-term weed control, the project aims to protect a network of these significant vegetation communities across a 250km coastal corridor”, said Simon.

By employing local Indigenous bush regeneration groups, the project will also provide opportunities for Aboriginal employment and working on country with several of the sites having great significance to local Indigenous communities.

The project also provides an opportunity for local residents to learn more about how they can be involved in protecting their local bushland. The local community can be involved by attending events, joining a Landcare group, or taking part in the ongoing restoration of these critical sites.

Ms Louise Orr, General Manager North Coast Local Land Services, said, “Local Land Services is playing a central role in the project by coordinating site monitoring and planning that will ensure the best outcomes are achieved for these unique sites”.

Grant funding of $350,000 is being matched by the project partners North Coast Local Land Services, Byron Shire Council, Nambucca Shire Council and Coffs Harbour Local Aboriginal Land Council. The program is being funded by the NSW Government through a partnership between the Saving our Species program and the Environmental Trust.

Media contact:           Simon Abbott, Senior Land Services Officer, North Coast Local Land Services Kempsey 0455 894 962.