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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
Senator Ian Macdonald

7 June 2005

$1.82 million for 25 projects to defeat the weed menace

The Australian Government has begun a new campaign to target weeds across the nation with the announcement today of $1.82 million for 25 projects under its new Defeating the Weed Menace Program.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Minister for Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, said the projects were the first under the Howard Government's $40 million election commitment to tackle weeds.

"The 17 on-ground projects, and eight national research projects, are the first step in this new phase of our war on weeds," Senator Macdonald said.

"Not only will this programme attack Australia's most significant weeds at the coalface, but there is a clear focus on research and development to ensure we are meeting this challenge smarter as well.

"Weeds are a significant cost to the economy, and pose one of the greatest threats to Australia's unique plants and animals."

Senator Campbell said the projects will help manage and control a number of Australia's most significant weeds. They including lantana, boneseed, rubber vine, gorse, serrated tussock, Chilean needle grass, alligator weed and willows.

"Although land management, including weeds, is the responsibility of the States and Territories, the Australian Government is providing national leadership in this important area," Senator Campbell said.

"This is too big a problem for Governments to sit back and see what happens.

Apart from their significant effects on our biodiversity, they cost Australian farmers about $4 billion a year in lost production and control measures."

Arrangements for the 2005-06 funding round will be announced shortly, reflecting priorities and criteria for investment identified by the National Weeds Advisory Group.

Details of the 25 projects receiving funding are attached.

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
David Crisafulli (Senator Macdonald's office) 0400 144 483

Defeating the Weed Menace Program

2004-05 multi-regional projects

Tasmanian Serrated Tussock eradication ($55,000)
The project aims to continue eradication activities by focusing on properties with absentee landowners in high priority areas adjacent to properties with implemented management plans, and other strategic high priority properties.

Boneseed management manual ($81,730)
This project will consolidate all available information on the control and management of boneseed in a concise management guide, similar to the highly successful guides already developed for other Weed of National Significance species.

Southern Rivers regional Lantana strategy ($89,377)
This project provides increased efforts to eradicate Lantana by establishing a 100km wide buffer zone, to act as a barrier to Lantana invasion to the south coast, southern tablelands and Victoria, including removal of Lantana from 2 sites of high conservation value.

Targeting isolated infestations of Serrated Tussock for eradication ($161,600)
This project will provide a multi regional incentive program to achieve long term control of isolated serrated tussock infestations in Victoria and directly increase the capacity to rapidly control and replace serrated tussock to prevent further spread.

Best practice management guides for Chilean Needle Grass ($99,950)
Development of best practice management guides for Chilean Needle Grass containing clear information on its biology and ecology, options for management in various situations and case studies.

Best practice management guides for Willows ($99,950)
Development of Best Practice Management Guides for Willows containing clear information on their biology and ecology, options for management in various situations and case studies.

Best-practice control for Yellow Cress ($14,696)
This project will undertake a herbicide trial in Tasmania to determine best-practice management of Creeping Yellow Cress in Australian conditions and the results made available as a best-practice guide to national, state and local stakeholders.

Management of Alligator Weed infestation ($23,100)
This project entails the containment, treatment and long-term eradication of a significant isolated alligator weed site within the Wah Wah irrigation district in the Riverina.

Weed seed risk assessment of Mimosa pigra at Peter Faust Dam, Proserpine ($33,000)
This project will undertake a comprehensive weed seed risk assessment of the significant isolated outbreak of Mimosa pigra at Peter Faust dam, Proserpine in Northern Queensland.

Blue Hound's Tongue eradication at Towamba River, NSW ($8,500)
This project will initiate the development of a program to eradicate Blue Hound's Tongue from the Towamba River area of south-eastern NSW. This area constitutes the only known infestation area in Australia.

Best practice manual for Gorse ($119,053)
The project aims to improve the capacity of weed control authorities and the wider community to manage Gorse throughout Australia by producing and distributing a Gorse Best Practice Manual.

Best practice manual for Alligator Weed ($124,014)
The project entails the compilation of current alligator weed best practice methods into an integrated management manual in a manner to suit the needs of weed control practitioners throughout Australia.

Strategic survey, community education and control of Orange Hawkweed in Tasmania ($7,150)
This project involves the strategic survey of Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) in Tasmania to develop a strategic eradication plan including recommendations for control on private land.

Weeds control manual for Bridal Creeper and other Asparagus weeds ($35,970)
This project will produce best practice manual for the control of Bridal Creeper and the other emerging Asparagus weeds, including advice on follow up work required to limit the possibility of areas being reinfested after a control programme.

Pond Apple and Hymenachne control in Eubenangee Swamp, Qld($66,000)
This project will control these species using the registered herbicide as well as fire and physical control methods, in order to reduce the infestations within Eubenangee Swamp and prevent the weed spreading to surrounding catchment areas.

Production of a training DVD on aquatic plants and their weed potential ($10,615)
This project will produce a training DVD on aquatic weeds to improve the aquarium industry's aquatic plant knowledge and trading practices, thereby reducing the risk of future industry related aquatic weed incursions

Drummond Range Rubber Vine control project, Qld ($33,000)
The project will control Rubber Vine in the Drummond Range to prevenmt its further spread and invasion downstream into the Fitzroy basin and Burdekin Dry Tropics regions.

2004-05 national projects

Risk Assessment of Calluna vulgaris (Heather), a National Environment Alert List Weed ($3,300)
The project will undertake a formal weed risk assessment of Calluna vulgaris (Heather), including an assessment of all recorded populations in Australia.

National gorse seed research and eradication strategies ($103,950)
The effects of chemicals from smoke and other hydrocarbons, mechanical stresses and heat on seed dormancy and viability will be investigated and stakeholders brought together to help formulate and implement eradication plans.

Research towards survival and impact of the salvinia weevil in cool climate regions ($47,346)
This project aims to investigate the breeding ability of the weevil in cool climates to clarify the potential of the weevil as a successful biological control agent in cooler climates.

Improved techniques for eradication of horsetails ($67,320)
This project aims to develop effective removal techniques that minimise disruption and non-target damage currently caused by herbicide use, total excavation and soil removal methods of control.

Lantana DNA investigation ($22,000)
The project will research the variation of all Lantana types in Australia to define their species grouping and variation which will assist in understanding variation obtained from conventional control methods.

Expanding best practice management options for invasive willows in Australia ($154,220)
This project will aid understanding of the distribution and status of key organisms present on willows in Australia to improve "best practice management" and facilitate the development of a broader range of management options than are currently available.

Biological Control of Cabomba: native range surveys and plant ecology studies ($173,234)
The project will expand surveys for biological control agents in the native range of cabomba in South America. Potential biological control agents will be assessed for use to control cabomba within Australia and the plant will be further studied to help support methods of reducing its spread.

Release and impact monitoring of biological control agents for bridal creeper ($192,411)
The project will support community groups to map biological control release sites, rear and release agents, improve release strategies and expand monitoring the impact of biological control agents on bridal creeper populations. Results will assist the development of future strategies for rehabilitation of bridal creeper infested sites.

Commonwealth of Australia