Councils call for plant action
Queensland councils want action on invasive plants.
Councils have slammed a long-awaited report into State Parliament’s ‘Inquiry into invasive plants and their control in Queensland’ that has been released with no recommendations.
Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) chief Greg Hallam said the lack of action after almost two years is particularly concerning.
“The LGAQ and a number of member councils invested time and resources to make relevant and considered submissions to the inquiry in January 2017, flagging key concerns at the – then – current state of play,” he said.
“To come out almost two years later, without a single solution to a burgeoning problem, is a travesty.
“Councils already spend $45 million each year in controlling invasive plants and animals but many are fearful that current funding will see them fall short of legislative obligations and, most importantly, the expectations of their communities.”
The advocates for Queensland’s 77 local governments have called for:
- $5 million for the control of prickly acacia following the monsoon trough event, to combat a mass outbreak in the state’s north-west
- Funding in non-drought areas with a focus on environmental biosecurity for the protection of areas with high environmental value
- Expansion of the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative to expand invasive plant control in drought declared areas
Mr Hallam recent drought declarations in eight more Queensland shires and councils highlights the need for decisive action against plant pests.
“We saw the number of drought-declared councils reach 41, plus drought-listed properties for another five, so the conditions are optimal for proactive control works because growth has already declined,” he said.
“The inquiry report pinpointed key issues that were not backed up with recommendations, including the ‘ever-increasing resourcing burden’ weed management places on local governments.
“It urged direct funding support, better inter-governmental and community collaboration, and the creation of consistent and freely available educational materials to assist councils in this vital work.”