Funding to tackle weeds on Crown Reserves

Volunteer land managers and Local Land Services (LLS) are putting weeds on notice, after the NSW Government committed more than $35,000 for control activities from the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund.

Member for the Dubbo electorate and Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said four Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs) around Narromine and Dubbo are among the seven sites to secure funding in the latest round.

“Crown Reserves are great public assets exist for the whole community to enjoy, providing land for recreation and community groups as well as conservation – but they also need to play a role in biosecurity,” Mr Saunders said.

“It’s great that we’ve had a couple of good seasons, but rain means weeds and it’s all our farmers can do to keep on top of them on their properties.

“It’s vital these reserves are maintained, not only for the safety and enjoyment of the community, but to support farmers in their efforts as well.”

Projects to receive funding include:

  • $21,600 for Dubbo River Care Group for the control of Castor Oil, Tiger Pear, Green Cestrum and Johnson Grass at Troy Reserve TSR
  • $8000 for LLS Central West to control African Boxthorn and Mimosa at TSRs south of Narromine (Brady’s Cowal, 7 Mile and Narwonah)
  • $4209 for Brocklehurst Horse and Pony Club for the control of weeds at Brocklehurst Reserve Trust
  • $1490 for Mid-Western Regional Council to control Blackberry, Privet, Tree of Heaven and Bridal Creeper at Palermo Public Recreation and Water Supply Reserve

TSR Team Leader for LLS Central West Peta Holcombe said the funding would support the control of priority weeds in the Central West Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan.

“These TSRs are used regularly by stock owners for grazing and walking stock, and being quite close to Narromine they are also used for locals for recreational activities,” Ms Holcombe said.

“Stock movement and public users make TSRs a real high-risk pathway, so it’s particularly important to control weeds that are easily spread by animals and birds,” Mr Saunders said.

“In a lot of instances, TSRs have some of the last remaining areas of remnant vegetation in the district, making it vital to control weeds to protect and enhance their biodiversity.”

Dubbo River Care Group maintains the riparian zone within Troy Reserve on behalf of LLS, but president Daryl Green said the weeds have been growing too quickly for the 30 active members to keep up with.

“We try to plant trees as competition for the weeds, but the actual extent of it was more than we could handle,” Mr Green said.

“We’re very thankful for the grant and we’ll be looking to get it under control to help the aesthetic of the area as well as the environmental and biodiversity values of it as well.”

Crown land covers around 34 million hectares or 42 per cent of NSW, with about 35,000 Crown reserves that accommodate parks, community halls, nature areas, showgrounds, sporting facilities, camping areas and walking tracks.

Projects funded through the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund will benefit many thousands of people and contribute to the cultural, sporting and recreational life of hundreds of communities, as well as supporting local economies and jobs.

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