Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt visited the Atherton Tablelands last week where he inspected infestations of the invasive navua sedge which has been detected in half of the Tablelands local government area.
But he came empty-handed, despite Tablelands Regional Council and Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth waging a 12-month campaign for support, including seeking more than $1 million to help manage the weed.
He said no decision on funding had been made.
“There is agreement on almost all of the points various stakeholders are bringing to the table including that it’s an invasive weed species, its potential impacts and that we need to be focused on research and extension,” Mr Pitt said.
“It’s a matter of structuring something and figuring out how much funding goes towards that.
“The interest is there from the state government to be playing a role with council here and we need to figure out what that looks like.”
Tablelands Regional Council mayor Joe Paronella said navua sedge had been detected in about half of the region, but it was “rampant” in areas in the eastern and southern areas.
“We are very aware of the possibilities if it really got rampant and what it could do,” Cr Paronella said.
TRC Cr Anthony Ball, who represents the areas of Malanda, Millaa Millaa and Topaz where navua sedge is at its worst, said the weed had the potential to impact the region’s top 20 agricultural industries.
He said other councils along the east coast had also raised concerns about the weed.
“Council, the state government and the Member for Dalrymple have worked hard over the 12 months,” Cr Ball said.
“We are getting the message out to farmers to combat it but we need more research and development into the seeding ability of the plant because it is such a vigorous plant and the climate here is so ideal for it.”
Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth, who secured Mr Pitt’s visit, said navua sedge was starting to encroach onto football fields and community infrastructure like showgrounds.
“We have been fighting hard for the survival of our industries but when we have a sedge grass which is contagious it has massive flow on effects,” Mr Knuth said.
“It’s one highest priorities at this moment to have this under control.
“We have worked very hard to put some structural strategies in place to help control this noxious weed.”