EFFORTS to control Alligator Weed within the region has been “put on the front foot” after local councils were given $200,000 towards their invasive aquatic weeds programs.
Gunnedah Shire Council Senior Weeds Officer, Lee Amidy, said the grant will greatly benefit local control programs.
“The funding will assist in education and awareness programs highlighting the risks posed by invasive aquatic weeds,” Mr Amidy said.
The funding will assist joint inspection and control programs involving Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains and Narrabri Shire Councils and Tamworth Regional Council, and has been made available by the Namoi Catchment Management Authority (CMA) through its Exclusion of High Priority Invasive Species grant.
Since the discovery of Alligator Weed in the Namoi River near Gunnedah in April last year staff from regional agencies, including local councils, DPI and CMA, have been combing the banks of the Namoi and Peel Rivers in an effort to locate and control the highly invasive weed, and establish the source of the infestation.
“We ticked two important boxes during this exercise.
“They were locating and treating over 100 Alligator Weed plants along the Namoi River, and most importantly, identifying the source of the outbreak in the Peel River and Sandy Creek in March this year.“
Last summer’s operation received over $90,000 in funding from the Namoi CMA as well as $22,000 from the NSW Department of Primary Industries Emergency Response Grant.
“The excellent results achieved over the last twelve months would not have been possible without the dedication of staff from all the agencies involved in the program,” Mr Amidy said.
“The Namoi CMA has shown a firm commitment to the ongoing success of the program with their allocation of funds over the next three years, and for that we are extremely grateful.
“This level of support will assist us to achieve our goal to contain and eventually eradicate this highly invasive weed and protect one of the States most important river systems,” he said.