Councils join forces in fight against Fireweed
TWO South-East Queensland councils are joining forces in their fight against Fireweed, as the invasive pest carpets their regions.
Adding to the regular treatments to the councils’ roads and reserves, Somerset Regional Council and Lockyer Valley Regional Council are banding together, actively encouraging landholders to identify and treat Fireweed on their property to reduce its spread.
Known for its toxic nature and threat to livestock, Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan urged all residents to help tackle the outbreak.
“While Fireweed appears as a harmless 13-petal yellow flower, it can cause illness, slow growth and poor condition in cattle, which is why we continue to take things up a notch in our efforts to control the outbreak,” Mayor Milligan said.
“The flower can rapidly produce more than 10,000 seeds during a growing season which have the ability to become airborne and travel long distances – severely impacting agriculture if left untreated.
“Agriculture is a key economic driver for both the Lockyer and Somerset regions, and any risk to these income streams are a risk to our entire community.
“Lockyer and Somerset residents interact with their neighbouring regions regularly, and this airborne weed has the ability to spread between our communities.
“We’re doing as much as we can to control Fireweed, with our resources stretched to capacity due to this year’s natural disasters and winter illnesses.
“Our teams are managing an overwhelming number of requests for assistance with the toxic weed and providing treatment plans and assistance as quickly as we can.
“To successfully tackle the current outbreak, we also need landholders to be proactive and address the stubborn weed as soon as possible.”
Somerset Regional Council Mayor, Graeme Lehmann, echoed Mayor Milligan’s sentiments, adding the current weather had contributed to the weed rapidly spreading.
“Ideal growing conditions have seen Fireweed run rampant across South East Queensland, and our regions are not immune,” Mayor Lehmann said.
“That’s why both councils are offering a range of assistance to help control the spread, including subsidised herbicide treatments and free disposal.
“Our councils’ Pest Management Officers are working closely with high-risk property owners dealing with large infestations to reduce the risk of it spreading, and other staff are spraying roadsides with herbicides in a bid to reduce this stubborn toxic weed.”
While the teams are continuing with their ongoing efforts to control the outbreak, the councils are urging all landholders to partner in the fight.
Both councils are offering local landholders free disposal of the invasive weed at the Gatton Waste Facility and Esk Landfill.
Mayor Milligan said there were several measures that must be taken by a landholder to safely remove and dispose of the pest plant.
“Fireweed must be transported directly to the site within a sealed container or covered vehicle or covered in a way that prevents the restricted matter from being lost or released during transport,” Mayor Milligan said.
“If you suspect you have Fireweed on your property, please help the environment and partner with your respective Council to fight against this destructive pest.”
For more information phone your respective council, Lockyer Valley Regional Council on 1300 005 872 or Somerset Regional Council on 5424 4000.