What are the most serious environmental weeds in Anglesea and Aireys Inlet?
What projects could be developed to protect the significant indigenous vegetation in conservation reserves between Anglesea and Moggs Creek?
These are the questions we have been contemplating as we make comments on the Surf Coast Shires detailed Pest Plants and Animals Priorities 2013–2015. Funding for the Surf Coast Shires program may increase seven fold to $150,000 this financial year, which could have a major impact on Pest Plants and Animals.
I think the four worst weeds in priority order are:
1. Sallow Wattle Acacia longifolia var. longifolia is invading indigenous vegetation at nearly all the reserves between Anglesea and Moggs Creek;
2. Blue Bell Creeper Billardiera heterophylla has become, during the last decade, one of our worst invasion threats;
3. Sweet Pittosporum Pittosporum undulatum is found in nearly every nature reserve that we weed;
4. Myrtle-leaf Milkwort Polygala myrtifolia var. myrtifolia is a significant weed that produces thousands of seedlings that germinate in the following decade, infestation at Point Roadknight sand dunes being a significant example.
I think that if we are to protect The Great Otway National Park, the Anglesea Heathland, which is part of the National Estate, and other significant nature and coastal reserves, we need to reduce the concentration of environmental weeds in the urban areas of Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Fairhaven and Moggs Creek. If we don’t, birds and other animals will eat the fruit or the seed, and distribute seed from road reserves and private gardens in urban areas into our reserves and the National Park, and seriously reduce their biodiversity and significance.
I was disappointed that the Surf Coast Shire are not going to reprint the excellent pamphlet Environmental Weeds: Invaders of our Surf Coast, which describes fifty-four environmental weeds, using text and photographs. The pamphlet is a good reference in your bookcase, especially for Surf Coast residents who want to know the identity of that new plant that has self- germinated in their garden. Instead the Shire is producing a brochure for Anglesea and Aireys Inlet, which will include what they consider are the twenty worst environmental weeds.
I was surprised that Mauve Honey Myrtle Melaleuca nesophila, Red Honey Myrtle Melaleuca hypericifolia and Pincushion Hakea Hakea laurina were included in the list of twenty worst weeds, as we rarely see them at working bees in Anglesea. I think that these environmental weeds could be replaced by Bulbil Watsonia, Wild Gladiolus, English Ivy or Pampas Grass. I understand that the full pamphlet and brochures will be available on the Surf Coast Shire’s website, which is an excellent idea, but being from the old school I still like the hard copy.