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New Directions on Roadside Weeds

Weed of National Significance: Ulex europaeus L. (Gorse)

The Victorian State Government today released a report containing recommendations designed to resolve the long-standing impasse surrounding responsibility for roadside weed management.  Want to know what the report says but don’t have time to read it? Here’s a quick summary.

The Report outlines different funding and management models for three weed categories: state prohibited, regionally prohibited and regionally controlled. Different funding and management arrangements will apply depending on the class of weed and whether it is located on a State, Municipal or other road.  Of the three classes, regionally prohibited weeds are the most common and therefore the most costly to manage.

Regionally Controlled Weeds

Regionally controlled weeds are widespread invasive plants that pose risks for a particular region. Continuing control measures are required to contain them. These weeds represent most of the operational cost of roadside weed control.  On State Roads, the State (through VicRoads) will be completely responsible for funding and management of  weeds.  For Municipal roads it is anticipated that funding will be divided between the State and Local Government.

Some interesting recommendations come from the report in relation to Local Governments’ obligations in relation to the management of regionally controlled weeds on municipal roads. State funding towards such works will depend on a number of criteria:

  • Sustained community led action by a group such as Landcare is making progress in managing targeted weeds in a defined location;
  • Weed management is needed to meet the objectives of this group and / or municipal roadsides represent a  significant pathway of spread for the target species;
  • State and Catchment-based priorities are being appropriately addressed;
  • Community action is clearly producing public benefit.

Councils will be required to develop a Roadside Weed Plan in consultation with the community to determine priority species, treatment methods, resources etc. According to the Press Release, the aim is to ensure that Councils target weeds that are identified as a priority by the community. 

Regionally Prohibited Weeds

Regionally prohibited weeds are invasive plants that pose a considerable threat but will not be able to be eradicated statewide. These weeds tend not to be widely distributed and carry a reasonable expectation that they can be eradicated from a particular region.  Regionally prohibited weeds are rarely found on roadsides. Management obligations are summarised as follows

  • The State Government (VicRoads) will fund and manage regionally prohibited weeds on State Roads.
  • Weed management of municipal roads will be funded by the State Government, with Local Councils being responsible for on-ground management
  • All other roads will be required to be funded and managed by the Land Manager.

The report specifically notes that it will be important to ensure that only weeds that are capable of eradication from a Catchment area are included in this category for a particular CMA.

State Prohibited Weeds

The State Government will be responsible for complete funding and on-site management of State Prohibited weeds on all roads. The report envisages the  establishment of a statewide regulatory instrument giving the State Government power to undertake these works, which will be carried out on-ground by DPI contractors. State prohibited weeds are invasive plants that pose a considerable threat to the environment. Infestations are usually relatively small and there is a reasonable expectation that they can be eradicated from the State.

If you would like to know more, you can read the full report here.

~ by SOLN on October 10, 2011 . Tagged:

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