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Latrobe Local News:
Roadside Weeds Adjacent Landowners Responsibility

Owners of rural residential and farm properties have responsibilities

By Latrobe City Council - 19th February 2002 - Back to News

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Latrobe City Council has reminded owners of rural residential and farm properties that noxious weeds on their roadsides are their own responsibility.

Group Manager Engineering Services, Larry Naismith, said the cooler and wetter summer had led to an unseasonable growth of blackberries, thistles and ragwort throughout the municipality.

"Most landowners are very responsible and keep noxious weeds on their property under control, but some have let matters slip, particularly on roadsides," Mr Naismith said.

"This is an issue that not only affects individual landowners themselves, destroying good pasture or invading and choking areas of native bushland, but noxious weeds have a tendency to spread rapidly to adjoining properties.

"At the moment there are massive blooms of ragwort noticeable on many properties and on roadsides. It is the responsibility of each and every landowner adjacent to the roadside to control these weeds and ensure these plants donít go to seed. Every ragwort plant that gets to the seeding stage releases thousands of seeds that blow in the wind, which are then capable of infecting huge tracts of land. It is essential that these weeds are controlled either by removing the flower heads at this stage and pulling the plant, or spraying herbicide at the appropriate time," Mr Naismith said.

"Blackberries are also becoming a problem again, providing a habitat for vermin and stifling native grasses and roadside understorey. Latrobe City has had many calls from residents asking when Council is going to do something about roadside blackberries. The fact is that it is the responsibility of the landowners themselves, whose property is adjacent to the roadside, unless they are VicRoads managed roads (main roads, highways and freeways) to control their weeds, not Council.

"In many areas Landcare groups facilitate a group approach to controlling noxious weeds, providing chemicals and spray units for members to use, and there are instances where Council has helped in this process. However, if such a scheme isnít operating in a particular region, individual landowners must still take responsibility.

"Much can be achieved just through the use of an inexpensive backpack spray by owners of small acreages, providing they donít allow weeds to get too far out of control in the first place. Neighbours working together can share the cost of herbicides and equipment hire, combining their resources. The important thing is get the weeds under control in the first place. Once noxious weeds are allowed to run riot, they are much more difficult and much more expensive to control," Mr Naismith added.

"The Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Landcare groups and most farm supplies establishments can provide advice on what to spray noxious weeds with and when, or alternative control and eradication methods. Council can also be contacted, telephone 1300 367 700 for further information," Mr Naismith concluded.


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