Wattle weedbusters receive funding

By David Kavanagh | posted on December 6, 2019

GREEN Skills Albany will continue its fight against invasive weeds in the Great Southern after it recently secured a state grant worth more than $380,000.

The non-profit will use funds received via the Government’s State Natural Resource Management (NRM) Program to combat the Sydney Golden Wattle, a species of weed voted Albany’s worst in 1996.

Green Skills Albany Manager Anne Sparrow said the contribution would build on previous efforts to “put a serious dent in the spread of this woody weed”.

“There are so many volunteers who are out there working hard to eradicate Sydney Golden Wattle from both private land and public reserves,” she said.

“It is fantastic to be able to offer them support over the next three years.”

The organisation’s new project will prioritise on-ground works and monitoring efforts in high value conservation reserves and adjacent areas spanning roughly 3000ha.

It will involve a variety of community engagement and education initiatives, including partnering with Southern Aboriginal Corporation to support the training of Indigenous youth in weed management.

The Sydney Golden Wattle restricts growth of other flora by blocking sunlight, allelopathy and increasing nitrogen levels in soils.

A spokesperson from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development described it as a “significant environmental and pest weed in the Great Southern”.

“It invades bushland and nature conservation corridors such as roadsides and disturbed land. There is limited agricultural impact as most cropping and grazing practices will control it,” they said.

State NRM has provided community groups across Western Australia close to $900,000 to assist with the management of invasive wattle species since it was established in 2009.