The Territory’s natural environment is one of our greatest assets, and we understand that a strong economy relies on a healthy environment.
Today the Territory Labor Government announced an increased investment to combat Gamba grass and create a Gamba Army, which was highlighted earlier this year through the Territory Labor Government’s Covid-19 Operation Rebound Paper.
A Gamba Army will create around 45 jobs for Territorians and will provide targeted support in the prioritised areas of Litchfield National Park, Charles Darwin National Park and the Greater Darwin region.
The Gamba Army is one part of the Territory Labor Government’s Gamba Policy to continue managing this noxious weed.
The approach will include:
- Gamba Army – an investment of $500,000 for a dedicated workforce and coordinated approach between Government, Councils, Aboriginal Rangers, and community groups.
- Gamba Action Taskforce – an enhanced and coordinated response to reducing Gamba infestations, including management across all relevant Northern Territory Government agencies, local government and landholders.
- Mapping, Planning and Tracing – an action science-based independent study to map Gamba in the Greater Darwin region that will guide planning, prioritisation and deployment of weed management activities to reduce and eradicate Gamba in core infestation areas. We will also publish Government’s weeds management plans online, creating greater transparency and certainty.
- Gamba Action Program – $100,000 of ongoing funding to support landholders to combat Gamba grass through access to free herbicide and equipment loans.
- Gamba Fire Mitigation Unit – an additional investment of $225,000 per year focussed on mitigating risks.
- Fire Mitigation Assistance Vouchers – $50,000 new fire mitigation vouchers scheme that will assist rural landholders to address land management matters relating to firebreaks and Gamba grass fuel loads on their property. Vouchers of up to $500 with a dollar-for-dollar contribution will be available to use with local Territory businesses.
The Territory Labor Government already invests up to $6 million a year on weeds management, including Gamba grass. We have established a dedicated Crown land Weeds Officer, boosted funding to Bushfires NT to support volunteer brigades, and constructed a new state of the art facility for Bushfires NT to improve our response to fires.
This week also marks the release of the Northern Territory Government’s draft Gamba Grass Management Plan. The Plan outlines the requirements to control Gamba grass and establishes goals, objectives and minimum management requirements to reduce the risk and damage caused by Gamba grass – to view the plan and have your say visit haveyoursay.nt.gov.au.
As stated by the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler:
“The Territory Labor Government knows that smart environment policy is smart economic policy.
“We know that more action is needed to mitigate and eradicate Gamba grass, and that is what we are doing through a coordinated and targeted approach.
“Our Gamba Army will provide targeted support in areas of significance and provide around 45 local jobs for Territorians to assist with stimulating the economy.
“Terry Mills and the CLP tried to remove firefighters from Humpty Doo Fire Station despite increased fire risk resulting from Gamba infestation and have no real plans to reduce and eradicate Gamba grass.
“Only a Territory Labor Government can be trusted to protect our environment, safeguard our water and manage our natural resource.”