The Andrews Labor Government has announced further funding to support rural and regional councils in managing weeds along Victorian roadsides.
The Victorian Budget 2017-18 provides $5.39 million for local councils to manage roadside weeds and pests. This includes $2.66 million for the 2017-18 financial year, with a further $2.73 million for 2018-19.
Roadsides can be a breeding ground for invasive weeds such as serrated tussock to spread throughout Victoria and threaten parks, forests and rural land values. Victorian Serrated Tussock Working (VSTWP) Chairperson John Burgess said “Many isolated infestations of serrated tussock across Victoria have spread along roadsides, so it is great to see further funding to treat infestations”. “Serrated Tussock, has a serious impact on farming and agriculture and if left untreated can spread rapidly across the landscape”.
Millions of dollars each year can be saved in lost farming and control costs by preventing the growth and spread of roadside weeds. The funding for the roadsides weeds and pests program is welcomed by the VSTWP, who receive support from local governments in treating roadside infestations within extension areas.
Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins said “Councils are getting the support they need to get rid of these weeds, as they can threaten farming and the environment”. “The last thing we want is for our hard-working farmers to impacted by something preventable.”