Weed and Pest Animal Management
Agriculture Victoria is responsible for administering the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CaLP Act), which is the main article of legislation governing the management of invasive plants and animals in Victoria.
The CaLP Act:
- defines roles and responsibilities and regulates the management of noxious weeds and pest animals
- prohibits the movement and sale of noxious weeds of all categories anywhere in the state
- covers weed seeds occurring as contaminants in seed lots, plant products or on vehicles, machinery or animals
- regulates the importation, keeping, selling and releasing of declared pest animals
For more information on the CaLP act and landowner responsibilities, refer to agriculture.vic.gov.au
Weeds are a problem on both private and public land. They cost the community millions of dollars each year in lost productivity and have a significant impact on our natural environment.
Everyone has a legal role to play in managing weeds on their land, irrespective of whether that land is public or private.
A large number of plants in the Murrindindi Shire are declared as weeds under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 and are seen as a major problem due to their ability to compete with native plants, crop plants and pasture. Some can even poison stock and humans and contaminate agricultural produce.
There are three levels of noxious weeds in our Shire; each with its own requirements for landholders:
- State prohibited weeds – Department of Environment and Primary Industries are responsible for the eradication of these weeds on all lands.
- Regionally prohibited – The relevant landowner, lessee or management authority is responsible for the eradication of these weeds except on roadsides.
- Regionally controlled – The relevant landowner, lessee or management authority is responsible for prevention of growth and spread of these weeds on their land.
Active control of declared weeds can include manual pulling, spraying, mechanical removal and livestock grazing. Another prevention strategy is to think twice about what you plant in your garden, and find out whether your garden species are invasive plants.
A publication by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA) called Weeds of the Goulburn Broken - A field guide to the terrestrial and aquatic weeds can assist with identifying weeds on your property, and understand what your legal requirements are in managing them.
The brochure, Invasive Plants in your Patch(PDF, 3MB), is a great resource for identifying invasive weeds that may be growing in and around your property. You can obtain a copy of this brochure by phoning Council on (03) 5772 0333.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website also provides a range of useful information regarding weed management. Visit environment.vic.gov.au
How can YOU help?
You can help manage the spread of weeds by controlling and/or avoiding planting invasive plants in your garden, and ensuring you dispose of waste plant material in a safe and secure manner.
When gardening, notice whether or not weed seeds are present in your garden waste. If seeds are present you can:
• Drown them by placing seeds in a 44 gallon drum (creating weed tea)
• Solarise them by placing them in a plastic bag and laying them in the sun
• Deposit them in a designated location in your garden that you actively manage through spraying and hand-pulling
Managing weeds in your garden and/or property through appropriate and regular weed control techniques such as spraying, slashing, grazing or manual pulling is also an important eradication strategy. You can also join an environmental group to support projects that improve your local environment. To learn more, visit the Get Involved webpage.
How do WE help?
Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, Council is required to manage regionally prohibited and controlled weeds on municipal roadsides. When considering both left-hand and right-hand sides, Council has over 2000 km of roadside reserves to control.
It would be unrealistic to expect Council to control all declared weeds on every municipal roadside within available resources, therefore Council has developed a program based around priorities.
Pest Animal Management
The Victorian Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 classify pest animals in accordance to their threat to agriculture and the environment.
Agriculture Victoria takes the lead to control animals that are classified as 'High Risk' invasive animals, while landowners have a responsibility to control those declared as ‘Established’ invasive animals.
Further information on why pest animals should be managed, who is responsible and where to begin can be found at environment.vic.gov.au
Queensland Fruit Fly
Despite it's name, Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) is now found in Victoria, including Murrindindi Shire. It is one of Australia's most serious and destructive pests, threatening both the commercial fruit and vegetable industry, and home growers. If left uncontrolled, it can destroy crops over an entire region.
We can all help to prevent Queensland Fruit Fly. More information is provided on these video links that are supplied courtesy of Nillumbik Shire Council:
European rabbits are invasive pests throughout our region. They cause significant damage to the natural environment, to primary production, and the amenity of our parks and reserves. Their impact includes:
- Loss of agricultural productivity (crops, pasture, and revegetation, horticultural or forestry seedlings)
- Soil erosion and associated impacts on infrastructure, watercourses and wetlands
- Competition with native animals for food and shelter, and selective grazing of preferred native plant species
- Maintaining fox and feral cat populations, which contribute to the extinction of native animals
- Off-target harm to native and farm animals from rabbit control measures such as baiting
- Financial costs of controlling rabbit populations
All landowners have a legal responsibility to control rabbits on their land. For information on rabbit control, click here to visit the Department of Agriculture website.