Invasive weeds present an extremely serious threat to Australia's natural environment, and agricultural regions. Weeds are estimated to cost our agricultural industry $4 billion annually and can also cause poisoning and other health issues for humans, pets and farm animals. The real cost of weeds to the environment is difficult to calculate, however it is expected that the cost would be similar to, if not greater than, that estimated for agricultural industries.
We can all take action to solve the weed problem, here are some helpful tips:
- Get to know the local weeds in your area. Contact your local council Weed Officer, Bushcare or Landcare Group or Agronomist, check the weeds list or weed databases such as www.weeds.org.au .
- Be aware that weed seeds are transported on vehicles, trailers, clothing, shoes, in soil and in pet or livestock fur and hair.
- Always stick to designated tracks when walking, horse riding, driving, or riding pushbikes or motorbikes through natural areas. Check out the tips for outdoor recreation.
- Dispose of weeds that are already seeding or readily able to reproduce vegetatively by placing them in a black plastic bag, sealing it and "baking it" in the sun until destroyed. This method alone may not kill all parts of the weed, for example bulbs, and may need to be used in combination with other methods such as mulching. If unsure, contact on expert for advice.
- Compost or dispose of other garden and green waste in council green waste collections or by carefully transporting it to your council's green waste tip. NEVER dump garden waste over the back fence or in bushland. See our tips for gardeners.
- Always cover trailers when transporting plant material to prevent seeds and other live plant material falling off.
- Consider carefully what plants you buy for ponds and aquariums.
- Never dump aquarium water or contents down drains or into waterways.
Imported plants, bulbs and seed including those ordered over the Internet or through mail order must be cleared before coming into the country and some may be banned or require permits. Check with Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities trade use section before ordering plant material.
The information in this section (how you can help) was put together with research from the following websites. Please visit these websites for more information:
- Australian Quarantine Inspection Service
- WWF Australia
- Nursery & Garden Industry
- ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services
- Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia
- Australian National Botanic Gardens
- Weed Warriors
- Sustainable Gardening Australia
- Far North Coast Weeds
- NSW Department of Primary Industries