Hunter Local Land Services, Hunter Regional Weeds launch new campaign

HUNTER Local Land Services and Hunter Regional Weeds launched a new campaign this week, urging everyone in the community to work together to “Stop Weeds at the Gate”.

Weeds cost agriculture in NSW an estimated $700 million per year.

They also threaten local biodiversity as they place an avoidable strain on native landscapes.

“Good weed biosecurity practices are essential to stopping weeds like giant parramatta grass, alligator weed and serrated tussock taking hold in our region,” chair of the Hunter Regional Weeds Committee Daryl Dutton said.

“Last year gorse was successfully eradicated from the Hunter and Manning Great Lakes, and we want to make it the first of many weeds kicked out for good.”

The campaign is targeted at helping everyone from landholders and managers, to farm contractors and machinery operators, to work together to prevent weed spread.

Several resources have been developed to help the users adopt best practice measures to reduce the risk of weed spread including:

• A factsheet with tips on improving your weed biosecurity

• A checklist for contractors working on properties to minimise risks

• A video case study on positive weed biosecurity behaviours

• Information on how to clean down and manage vehicles before/during/after property visits

• And procedure guidelines for machinery operators

“Weed seeds can easily be transported between properties by animals, vehicles and even the shoes and clothes on people,” Mr Dutton said.

“We have developed an easy to follow checklist to help landholders explain to visitors and contractors how they can help reduce the risks of spreading weeds by taking some simple steps such as brushing themselves down or staying on approved tracks when moving through a paddock.

“We also have a step by step clean down method for cars and larger vehicles to make sure weeds are not transported off a property or between paddocks accidentally.”

Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen said the campaign was a direct result of the state government’s weed control reforms that led to the development of 11 regional weed management plans.

“Stop Weeds at the Gate is a great way to encourage people to take responsibility for their own weed biosecurity,” he said.

“This targeted campaign has come directly from the five-year Hunter Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan, and shows the plan is already changing the way weed control is being managed in our region.

“Now it’s up to all of us to work together, to stop weeds at the gate.”