INCREASED FUNDING FOR INVASIVE WEED CONTROL

Principal Petitioner Regina Walsh, Deagon
Closing Date Sun, 05 Apr 2020
No. of signatures 117 signatures

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Residents draw to the attention of Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner the inadequate control and management of invasive weed species in the Brisbane area. The responsibilities of Council outlined in the Biosecurity Plan (2018) cannot be met with the current resourcing. Weeds identified as priorities for management, such as Kudzu and Asparagus Ferns, are rampant, particularly along our waterways. Some weeds identified under the Natural Assets Local Law 2003 (NALL), for example, Dyschoriste depressa, represent an emerging and significant threat to the amenity of our backyards, our parks, our footpaths and our areas of natural bush land, but currently receive no specific allocation of funding (as advised by Council Hotline).

Dyschoriste depressa will soon number among the invasive weeds that are out of control and threatening biodiversity and amenity of public areas throughout the Brisbane area. In addition, inadequate Council funding impacts on residents who wish to volunteer their time for invasive weed control. Recently, a group of volunteers working to maintain a 2018 Ramsar Convention wetlands anniversary planting in Sandgate was told to cease working due to lack of capacity in the council’s Habitat Program.

The key issues are
1) inadequate funding for Council to effectively control identified pest weeds in parkland, bush land and other protected spaces;
2) the spread of new invasive species like Dychoriste depressa via council contractors’ mowers and slashers;
3) council bylaws prohibiting residents from poisoning such invasive weeds in adjacent park lands;
4) the futility and cost for landowners for ongoing control of invasive weeds on their own land when adjoining land that is the responsibility of Council is not controlled; and finally
5) the inadequate level of funding and human resources to allow Council’s Habitat, Creek Catchment and other similar programs to train, equip and provide insurance for volunteers who are willing to do bush regeneration and weed management work.

In summary, Council is not adequately controlling invasive weeds and local residents are restricted in what they are permitted by Council to do. This is an issue across the entire Brisbane City Council area.

Your petitioners therefore request a significant increase in the annual funding allocated to the implementation of Council’s Biosecurity Plan, particularly the program of invasive weed control; monitoring of and improved cleaning by council mowing contractors’ equipment to avoid the further distribution of weed plants; and a significant increase in recurrent funding for the Habitat and Creek Catchment programs for training and insurance to accommodate all volunteer community groups that are willing to work in land care and bush regeneration.

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