I was in Bunnings Hardware in the city last week, in their garden section, where they were selling Polygala, which is one of the worst environmental weeds along the Surf Coast.
It is so disappointing that governments, particularly the Victorian State Government, have not improved the Noxious Weed Legislation, and the regulation of weeds. A review of the State legislation was commenced in 2002. In 2010, the Victorian Department of Primary Industries indicated that the Victorian Noxious Weeds Review was in its final stages, and a number of new declarations would be made in the near future. However, since this time, there have been widespread cutbacks in the Public Service. It seems unlikely that the government will increase, in the near future, the number of noxious weeds listed under the legislation, as the cost to regulate the legislation would dramatically increase.
However, recently, there has been some better news. The Australian Weeds Committee, under the auspices of the Federal Government, has declared an additional 12 Weeds of National Significance (WONS). In 1998, the Australian Government identified 20 weeds, which were considered WONS, a status that brings a weed species under national management for the purpose of restricting its spread, and for its eradication from parts of Australia. Each WONS has a strategic plan that outlines strategies and actions that are required to control the weed, and which identifies responsibilities for each action. The WONS initiative has enabled governments to set priorities, so that resources are directed at weeds that have serious environmental, economic and social impacts.
The twelve additional weeds that have been added to the WONS list include environmental weeds that are a significant problem on the Surf Coast-:
- African Boxthorn Lycium ferocissimum
- Asparagus Fern Asparagus scandens
- Flax Leaf Broom Genista linifolia
- Montpellier Broom Genista monspessulana
For further information about these four weeds refer to Environmental Weeds :Invaders of our Surf Coast 2007 edition, pages 14, 17 and 38.