Weeds can pose a major problem to the natural environment if not regularly managed and controlled correctly. They can destroy native habitats and threaten native plants, reducing farm and forest productivity.
Kempsey Shire Council is responsible for controlling some categories of declared high priority weeds on public land. Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, residents also have a responsibility to control invasive plants on their own properties and can seek assistance from Council with weed identification and control options.
Weed eradication programs are carried out regularly by council’s weed officers to protect local waterways and the habitats of native plants.
This month, Council will conduct an annual aerial spraying weed program to combat bitou bush on Stuarts Point beach, weather permitting.
Bitou bush infests about 80 per cent of the NSW coastline, extending 10km inland in some areas.
“Aerial spraying is one part of an ongoing program that includes other techniques such as physical removal, cut and paint, spot spraying and bush regeneration,” Council’s weeds officer, Greg Egan, said.
“Spraying herbicides from helicopters for the treatment of large tracts of Bitou-infested land is an effective management technique that has been long used by land management agencies across NSW.”
Some beach access will be closed for a short period of time while the works are taking place with signage around the area advising of the work.
Council acknowledges that there may be some public concern with the program. Council does not use chemicals unless they are approved for such use by relevant authorities and does so in accordance with best practice management guidelines.
Council will also soon undertake a Tropical Soda Apple Landholder Engagement Project for properties in the Kempsey Shire with a particular focus on the Upper Macleay.
A map indicating where spraying will be undertaken is available on Council’s website: www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au