Forum to discuss invasive weed

Damaging navua sedge under spotlight on Atherton Tablelands

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The spread of navua sedge on the Atherton Tablelands and ways to combat it will be discussed at an information day in Malanda on Tuesday.

The spread of navua sedge on the Atherton Tablelands and ways to combat it will be discussed at an information day in Malanda on Tuesday.

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A vigorous, invasive weed with the potential to do significant harm to the Tableland's beef and dairy industries will come under the spotlight at an information day on October 18.

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One of the most damaging weeds to spread through far north Queensland in recent years will come under the spotlight at an information day in Malanda on Tuesday.

Navua sedge is a vigorous, grass-like perennial plant that competes with pasture and other plants for nutrients, light and moisture.

Despite not being listed as prohibited or a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014, landowners are spending thousands of dollars fighting the weed.

More common in the wetter environments around Malanda, Topaz and Millaa Millaa, incursions have been detected as far west as Mt Garnet, Ravenshoe and Watsonville. 

The information day will be held at the Malanda Showgrounds, from 10.30am to 1pm.  

Landowners will be given information on a range of topics including spray rates, chemical use, pasture management, trials, research and identification.

Local and state government representatives will speak on best on ground management practices, how to identify the weed and what mapping and reporting systems are in place.

The biggest concern is the weed’s impact on the beef and dairy cattle industries in the region. 

TRC Councillor Anthony Ball said navua sedge had the potential to significantly impact the agricultural industry on the Tablelands, which currently accounted for 30.2 per cent of the local economy. 

He said the vigorous nature of the weed was alarming. Cr Ball said a petition for state funding to research long-term management tools had secured just under 1000 signatures and spread awareness of the issue.

Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth tabled the petition in parliament last month, and will provide an update on Tuesday.

“Since we started to push this, with the help of the community, other areas outside the shire have recognised the issue and are looking at what we are doing,” Cr Ball said.

“I’ve fielded calls from people down the coast.

“It’s certainly gaining momentum.”

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