City of Mount Gambier received more than $30,000 in funds through the inaugural Limestone Coast Landscape Board Grassroots Grants 2020/2021 program to undertake weed control measures in the vicinity of the Crater Lakes area.
The funds will assist Council to achieve the objectives within the Crater Lakes Conservation Management Plan.
“Council aims to recognise and protect all of the heritage values of the Crater Lakes area by identifying and implementing actions to help restore, enhance and protect the heritage landscape in the area,” City of Mount Gambier Engineering Technical Officer Sinaway Georgiou said.
Self-pollinating wild pines have become an issue along the Valley Lake crater rim areas and the slopes of the saddle.
Clearing the wild pines along the Valley Lake crater rim near the Centenary Tower will enable the site to be clearly interpreted as a volcanic landscape feature as it once was.
– City of Mount Gambier Engineering Technical Officer Sinaway Georgiou
“The wild pines are hard to control, and it is envisioned that Council will eradicate as many as possible to help reduce their numbers over time.”
Council has engaged a local contractor to use manual felling practices to remove the larger wild pines.
“Given the severity of the slopes, each tree will need to be removed using abseiling techniques, with work expected to begin this week,” Mr Georgiou said.
Under the guidance of Crater Lakes Conservation Park Caretaker Orazio Cultreri, Millicent High School students will use cut and swab techniques to remove the smaller self-sown wild pines located along the slopes of the saddle.
“As part of attaining their Horticulture certificate, the flexible learning students are required to complete a weeds and chemical handling component. The students will work with Orazio to treat the wild pines in the area.”
Cape Wattle weed has been found throughout the sloping face of the Valley Lake area along the Keegan Drive car park lookout and will also be eradicated as part of the weed control program.
“This area will be sprayed using a drone as it is inaccessible using conventional eradication methods.”
‘In addition, to help reduce the spread of pest weeds and plants, weeds botanist from the State Herbarium of SA Chris Brodie will be engaged to help identify what should be removed and what should be preserved within the Crater Lakes precinct,” Mr Georgiou said.