Liverpool Plains Shire Council Biosecurity officers are urging landholders to make weed control a priority, specifically looking at the African Boxthorn.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Biosecurity Officer, Mike Whitney, said the improved seasonal conditions present a window of opportunity for effective control work to be undertaken now, whilst it is at a manageable presence on properties across the shire.
“After two to three years of drought, the Boxthorn, with all the good seasonal rain we’ve had lately, is now right to be controlled. The grounds a bit looser now, because the soils a bit moist, but you got to be able to get the whole root. The ground is softer, they come out a little bit easier.”
African boxthorn is easily recognised by many landowners and managers in this area. However, if allowed to multiply and spread further, it will negatively impact on local biodiversity. With the existing level of infestations, it is reasonable to expect that these can be controlled to provide protection for productivity and our environment.
A regional weed prioritisation process using the NSW Weed Risk Management System in the North West Region, by Weed Professionals, has been undertaken with African boxthorn prioritised as Asset Protection.
Mike Whitney wants to remind land managers of their duty, enshrined under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015, that every person has a General Biosecurity Duty, meaning that any person dealing with plant matter must take measures to prevent, minimise or eliminate the biosecurity risk.
Landowner’s outcomes to demonstrate compliance with the General Biosecurity Duty include land managers mitigating the risks of new weeds being introduced, preventing seed and propagules spreading and reducing the impacts of the plant on priority assets.
The NSW Government has invested 400.1 million in their Federal Budget to strengthen biosecurity. The investment will protect the agricultural industries from the threats of pests and weeds, which will strengthen supply lines domestically and for exporters.