Gamba Army funding strengthens defence against invasive weed

NT Government

7 October 2022

Territory Labor is ensuring the Gamba Army stays at the frontline of efforts to mitigate the devastating impact of gamba grass.

Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Security, Lauren Moss, today announced a further $500,000 to ensure boots on the ground to hold back the invasive weed.

Funds will flow directly to Territory Natural Resource Management, the non-profit group which marshals the Gamba Army, providing local jobs and supporting the local economy in the process.

The new investment means $1.5 million dollars has now been provided to the Gamba Army since its first call-up in 2020 as a Territory Labor election commitment.

The NT Government invests $6.5 million annually into weed management including gamba grass, coordinating control activities on crown land as well as helping private landowners.

Gamba grass was introduced into the NT in the 1930s as pasture feed but has since become a highly invasive weed that produces dangerously high fire loads and contributes to habitat loss.

Efforts by the Gamba Army will continue to target strategic locations such as Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Charles Darwin National Park, Knuckey Lagoon Conservation Reserve.

The Territory Government’s funding is separate to that announced by the Federal Labor Government, which will focus on gamba grass control outside of the Darwin region.

Quotes from Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Security, Lauren Moss:

“The Gamba Army represents the frontline in our efforts to curtail the spread of this foreign invader which is classified as a weed of national significance.

“This investment confirms Territory Labor’s commitment to the strategic control of gamba grass and builds on our election commitment to minimise the threats it brings, including of dry season fires.

“Our government’s partnership with TNRM to deliver Gamba Army is a key part of the Gamba Management Framework and overall weed management strategy in the Territory, which is premised on protecting our environment from fire threats, habitat loss and ecosystem degradation caused by invasive species.”

Quotes from Gamba Army Coordinator, Rowena Eastick:

“I welcome the additional funding for a third year that will help build on the previous two year’s work and enable us to target new areas.

“We will start work by the end of October, and that’s quite unusual because of the amount of early rain.

“So we’ve already started getting teams coordinated and looking at areas that were burnt last fire season, and that’s where our priorities will go into early action hoping to get a lot done before Christmas.”

Minister Moss inspects gamba grass at Holmes Jungle Nature Park with Territory Natural Resource Management’s Gamba Army Coordinator, Rowena Eastick

Northern Territory Government

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