Monday, July 22, 2024

56 councils to absorb weed control funding

Fifty-six Victorian councils will receive between $5,000 and $75,000 to manage invasive plants and pests along municipal rural roadsides, the Victorian Government announced today.

Acting Minister for Local Government, Mary-Anne Thomas said a further $11.5 million in funding over the next four years for the Roadside Weeds and Pests Control Program would help provide greater protections for agriculture, farms and the environment.

“Weeds and pests along rural roadsides have the potential to wreak havoc on native plant species – the control program will help councils tackle this really important work in coming months,” the Minister said.

“Roadside weeds and pests can cost our farmers millions of dollars each year, so it’s an investment in prevention that pays massive dividends across the state.”

She said weeds like serrated tussock and blackberries cost the Victorian economy over $900 million each year as they have the potential to spread very quickly resulting in serious negative impacts on agricultural production, as well as contribute to the spread of fires.

In the past 12 months, Gannawarra Shire Council inspected approximately 600km of roadside and treated 266.5km for weeds and pests. Species targeted include rabbits, foxes, boxthorn, blackberry, briar rose, silver leaf nightshade, olive, wild cherry, and khaki weed.

Minister Thomas said Local Government Victoria and Agriculture Victoria would work closely with local councils to ensure plans to tackle weeds and pests were tailored to local government areas, with appropriate funding allocated to fulfil each strategy.

To find out more about the Roadside Weeds and Pests Program visit localgovernment.vic.gov.au/funding-programs/roadside-weeds-and-pest-management.

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