The control of weeds and pest animals takes up a lot of time and money once they are established in an area. With the right knowledge and practical skills a community can efficiently contain the weeds and pests that are already established and prevent new ones from taking hold.
A weed is considered as a plant that requires some form of action to reduce what are perceived as harmful effects on the economy, the environment, human health and or amenity.
Environmental weeds are plants that invade native ecosystems and adversely affect the survival of indigenous flora and fauna. Environmental weeds can be foreign plants accidentally or intentionally introduced into Australia, or they can be native plants that have become weedy due to inappropriate management, or because they are outside of their normal range.
Declared weeds are introduced plants listed under the Weed Management Act 1999.
Declared weeds are recognised as causing:
- reduced farm production
- degradation of the State’s natural or physical resources
- degradation of ecological processes, or
- reduction in the genetic diversity of native plants.
Once plants are declared as weeds under the Act, there are restrictions on their trade, sale, import, movement and disposal.
Weed Management Strategies
Disposal of Ragwort on Bruny Island
Kingborough Council has provided landowners with a free ragwort disposal service at the Alonnah Service Centre since 2006. Within the first year, over 700 bags of ragwort were collected from private land for disposal in deep burial waste facilities.
Changes to legislation have since been made and deep burial is no longer a requirement for ragwort disposal within Tasmania. The preferred method of ragwort disposal is now with general waste. Despite the change in requirements, Council remains committed to assisting the community with the disposal of plants that have been physically removed from their properties. This is a service for which there is no obligation to provide and comes at a cost to Council. Ragwort is the only weed where Council provides such a service and the effectiveness and value of the practice will continue to be monitored.
Whilst conducting a review of Council’s Ragwort Management Program, a cost benefit analysis of the free ragwort disposal was undertaken. It was found that the service could be provided through the Bruny Island Waste Transfer Station for a fraction of the cost of placing a bin at Alonnah.
As a result, Council trialed moving the program to the Bruny Island Waste Transfer Station on Bruny Island Main Road during the 2018 season and will continue to provide the service from this location. Free bags and permits will still be available at the Alonnah Service Centre. The savings gained will enable an increase in other support activities and will provide a better outcome for the Program.
The review and associated report was endorsed at a full Council meeting at the end of 2018 and the actions will now be implemented over time. The full audit and report on the Ragwort Management Program can be viewed below.
Priority Weeds in Kingborough
Most of the highest priority weeds are those we rarely see; they have only been seen at a few places but have the potential to spread quickly. We aim to completely eradicate these plants and check to make sure they don’t come back.
Weeds that occur all over Kingborough such as Gorse and Spanish heath require a lot more time and money to control. Therefore, we aim to ‘contain’ these weeds, which means preventing them from spreading further. We remove small scattered infestations and actively control them in areas where they may be easily spread, such as on roadsides. Take a look at our Kingborough Weed Strategy Management and Action Plan 2015 – 2027 for more information.
The below list are the weeds that have been identified as our highest priority weeds:
- African Boxthorn, Lycium ferocissimum
- Boneseed, Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. monilifera
- Bridal Creeper, Asparagus asparagoides
- English Broom, Cytisus scoparius
- Gorse, Ulex europaeus
- Hairy Fiddleneck, Amsinckia calycina
- Orange Hawkweed, Hieracium aurantiacum
- Heather, Calluna vulgaris
- Montpellier Broom, Genista monspessulana
- Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
- Californian Thistle, Cirsium arvense
- Pampas Grass, Cortaderia species
- Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea
- Spanish Heath, Erica lusitanica
- Elisha’s Tears, Leycesteria formosa
- Paterson’s Curse, Echium plantagineum
- Whiteweed, Lepidium draba