Sunshine Coast Council is set to continue its work on weeding out restricted and prohibited invasive pest plants listed in the Biosecurity Act 2014 following endorsement of the Pest Survey Program.
The 12-month inspection program is designed to monitor the presence and extent of invasive plants in selected locations across the region.
Invasive plants listed as priorities in council’s Biosecurity Plan will be targeted, including Groundsel bush, rat’s tail grasses, Parthenium and Salvinia.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said landholder support for the program was critical.
“A majority of the land in the survey areas is privately owned and without a team effort it simply wouldn’t be possible for us to monitor and combat these environmentally damaging plants,” Cr McKay said.
“Results from the survey program last year found that 28.5% of properties that were proactively inspected contained pest plants.
“Not only do these pest plants replace more productive grasses, they also invade and compete with pastures, destroy native wildlife habitat and impact upon livestock that eat the plants, all of which can have a huge economic impact on our farmers.
“Through this program, council officers can assist landholders with education and equipment to help manage invasive plants on their property.”
During the 12-month program, 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.
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.
The program will be conducted in the localities of Balmoral Ridge, Beerwah, Belli Park, Bells Creek, Cooloolabin, Crohamhurst, Diamond Valley, Doonan, Eerwah Vale, Eumundi, Flaxton, Forest Glen, Glasshouse Mountains, Kiamba, Kureelpa, Landers Shoot, Maleny, Mons, Mooloolah Valley, Mt Mellum, North Maleny, Reesville, Tanawha, West Woombye and Witta.
Properties previously known to contain invasive plants will also be surveyed for ongoing compliance.
All residents have a General Biosecurity Obligation under the Biosecurity Act 2014 to manage invasive plants on land that is under their control.
Council undertakes a number of proactive initiatives to assist the community to manage pest plants on their properties.
A range of resources are available including free weed control equipment hire, educational booklets, a smartphone application and fact sheets.
For more information and advice visit council’s website.