THE Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management group will spend $275,000 of Federal Government funding to eliminate noxious weeds from the banks of the Avon River from Beverley to Toodyay.
Wheatbelt NRM has surveyed 150km of the Avon in the past year for tamarisk and bridal creeper weeds.
Substantial quantities of the weeds were found and the group will now work on a major project to control the introduced species, both of which are listed as ‘weeds of national significance’.
The WONS program co-ordinates the national effort against 20 of Australia’s worst invasive plants.
These weeds have degraded large portions of the natural and productive landscape, and have been earmarked for action at a national level to reduce their impact.
The $275,000 funding has been allocated under the Government’s Caring for Our Country program, a $2 billion initiative to achieve a “measurable difference to Australia’s environment”.
Wheatbelt NRM project officer Greg Warburton said a team spent months walking across hundreds of kilometres of the Avon River and used satellite imagery to plot the weed infestations.
“There are pockets of tamarisk and bridal creeper so thick that the native vegetation is being choked out,” he said.
Mr Warburton said a team of representatives from York, Northam and Toodyay would use chemical, mechanical and biological means to control the weeds.
Tamarisk originates from the Middle East and was introduced to Australia as a garden plant. It grows as a woody shrub or tree in areas where water is at or near the surface.
Bridal creeper was introduced from Southern Africa as an ornamental plant.
It was placed on the WONS list because it can invade intact bushland and then smother ground level plants beneath its dense canopy.
Signs to encourage the public to report noxious weed infestations are being placed along the Avon River in major threat areas.