Biosecurity Queensland’s war on weeds has chalked up a significant victory with 21 species of high-risk weeds having been eradicated from around the state.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Biosecurity Queensland officers, working in close partnership with local governments and other agencies, have pushed another 16 species close to complete eradication.
“Of the eliminated species, 15 were detected while still restricted to gardens whilst the other six species had established very small populations,” Mr Furner said.
“Pressure is being maintained on another 16 species that appear on-track for eradication, with surveillance conducted annually to destroy remaining plants and deplete the soil seed-bank.
“Dedication and persistence are essential as these are long-term projects due to the long-lived soil seed banks involved.
“However, the results are worth it and underline the importance of early detection and eradication to avoid development of major problems for landholders across large parts of the state.”
Mr Furner said the early detection and eradication of high-risk weed species delivered significant economic and environmental benefits.
“High-risk targets include karroo thorn and other non-native acacia species, all species of horsetails, bitou bush, Mexican feather grass and tropical soda apple,” Mr Furner said.
“Eradicating weed species such as these has undoubtedly saved landholders tens of millions of dollars in long-term control costs, as all high-risk target species have the potential to invade large areas of land making them unsuitable for grazing.
“For example, one species alone, tropical soda apple, costs graziers in the United States around $10 million per annum after they missed the opportunity for early detection and eradication.”
Mr Furner said on-going surveillance for eradication targets was vital in protecting Queensland’s biosecurity and $19 billion agriculture industry.
“There is simply no room for complacency in the fight against high-risk weed species as the risk of re-introduction and undetected incursions remains,” Mr Furner said.
“Traditional and innovative surveillance techniques are being employed to help detect weeds much earlier than previously which improves the chances of eradication.
“Members of the public can also play a vital role in eradicating weeds by immediately reporting sightings of unusual weeds or plants to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.”
Further information is available at www.daf.qld.gov.au
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner