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Weeds flourish as Queensland minister stalls.

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AFFA01/95WT 25 April 2001

Weeds flourish as Queensland minister stalls

Queensland landholders are being left to deal with major weed infestations such as prickly acacia, rubber vine, and lantana without government assistance as the Beattie Government stalls on taking up its share of $12 million of Federal Government funds.

Mr Truss said despite the fact that Queensland is affected by nine of the 20 weeds identified nationally as among the most important to bring under control, the Queensland Government has failed to take up the Federal funding available to tackle Australia's 20 Weeds of National Significance (WONS).

"Queensland farmers are starting to seriously wonder what the State’s Primary Industries Minister, Henry Palaszczuk, is doing in Cabinet when he fails to deliver this available assistance to farmers.

"Weed infestation is a serious problem in Australia and is estimated to cost agricultural industries more than $3.3 billion a year. The impact of weed infestation reduces farm and forest productivity, displaces native species, and contributes to land degradation.

Mr Truss said funding is available from the National Weeds Program (NWP), but the Queensland Labor Government has failed to take advantage of the program or lodge a funding application.

"It has been nearly two years since the 20 WONS were agreed to by the State, Territory and Federal ministers responsible for agriculture, resource management, forestry and the environment," Mr Truss said.

"It is obvious Labor gives a low priority to weed eradication in Queensland.

"The listing of Australia's 20 weeds of national significance is a world-first, but it is crucial that programs and strategies to combat these weeds are put in place.

"Three ministerial councils prioritised the weeds based on their invasiveness, their potential to spread, and their socioeconomic and environmental impacts.

"I’m pleased that most of the national strategies for tackling the WONS have now been fully endorsed or are close to finalisation. The sooner Queensland lodges its application, the sooner on-the-ground works can begin."

Mr Truss said he expects applications will include a variety of on-the-ground activities and are likely to include community participation and involvement. The nine WONS affecting Queensland are prickly acacia, rubber vine, cabomba, hymenachne, lantana, mesquite, parkinsonia, parthenium weed and pond apple.

Minister's office: Yvonne Best (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772

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Last updated 26 April 2001

URL: Commonwealth of Australia 2000