The South East Natural Resources Management Board has completed project targeting the declared plant gorse for eradication from the South East region of South Australia.
As a Weed of National Significance (WONS), gorse
causes significant damage to both agricultural production and the natural environment. It has been identified in the top 15 agricultural and the top 15 environmental weeds in the South East Weed Risk Assessment, confirming its status as a significant regional weed threat.
The National Gorse Task Force supported the 12 month project as part of the implementation of the National Gorse Strategy. Infestations of gorse in the South East region fall within the National Eradication Zone. Importantly, it is recognized as the southern most outbreak of gorse in South Australia. This distribution makes the South East infestations a priority for gorse control in order to compliment other national efforts on this weed and protect un-infested areas.
Currently, as a declared plant under the Natural Resources Management Act, landholders are required to control gorse on their properties at their own cost. This one year project, funded by the Australian Government Defeating the Weed Menace programme, made eradication by landholders achievable by financing gorse control and destroying core infestations that are too large for individual landholders to address.
The regional Gorse Project reduced gorse infestations from the South East region by focusing on several key parcels of land. These land parcels were heavily infested with gorse and considered to be the source infestations. Many of these infestations were large enough to be observed in aerial photographs and climatic modelling is suggesting that Gorse has the potential to cover most of the South East region if left unchecked.
On-ground works including mulching, spraying, burning, and pasture improvement was funded. Coordination, education, annual monitoring and mapping compliment the control and provide landholders with the information and skills to continue the effort with the eventual result being eradication of gorse from the region.