Weeding out the problems
NORTH Burnett Regional Council has placed a call-out for landholders to continue assisting in identifying invasive plant species which may have gained a foothold in the region.
There are three weeds in particular the council has requested information on: Saggittaria, Alligator weed, and Hygrophila.
Council's planning and environment manager Jeff Miles confirmed that, although these weeds were not believed to be present in the North Burnett, they are weeds that pose a significant threat.
Saggittaria is a 1.5m tall aquatic plant that is found growing along creek banks and shallow water, distinguishable by its triangular stems and oval/linear shaped leaves with pointed tips.
It can reproduce by both seed and vegetatively and can form large floating mats causing significant environmental, economic and social impacts.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Saggittaria "has the potential to become more widespread in Queensland”.
Alligator weed is a vigorous aquatic and terrestrial weed that is identifiable by its hollow stems and white flowers, spreading vegetatively and able to tolerate both fresh and salt water.
DAF says the weed "poses an extreme threat to Queensland's waterways, wetlands and irrigated crops”.
Hygrophila is an erect green plant growing up to 1m in height along shallow creek banks and wetlands, producing white flowers where the opposite leaves join the stem.
According to DAF, this species is the closest of the three to the North Burnett, as it has occasionally been detected in the Fraser Coast local government area.
Council has asked if any of these weeds are identified to contact its natural resource management team on 1300 696 272.
The efforts to keep these species out of the region is part of a State Government pilot program, the Better Partnership project, being delivered in the Wide Bay Burnett and in north Queensland's dry tropics.
The Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils has received $375,000 until 2020.
According to DAF, the two pilot projects will "foster regional collaboration by building and implementing shared governance structures for the management of invasive plants and animals at a regional level.”
The Wide Bay Burnett project has a focus on building detection and rapid response capabilities in the region.
Council has previously initiated a response project to the detection of African boxthorn, a spiny shrub originally from South Africa, in the Monto region.
Unrelated to Better Partnerships, the council is also running a coordinated wild dog and feral pig baiting program from 24-27 September.
1080 baits will be available from all towns (except Mount Perry), plus from Kalpowar and Yarrol.
Participants must supply their own meat, cut to size, and register with council's natural resources administration officer before Monday, September 16.
See the council website for full list of locations and conditions.