Eurobodalla Council has begun a project to remove weeds from Cabbage Tree Creek, which runs through Mogo.
The area was severely burnt during the fires and much of the vegetation growing back contains weeds, which boomed following high rainfall.
The creek area is on private properties and Crown land not managed by Council. The Mogo community sees the section of the creek running through the township as a priority and has asked for help to restore it.
Council’s invasive species team earlier this year developed a weed control plan, in consultation with the Mogo Village Business Chamber, Local Aboriginal Land Council and South East Local Land Services, which will be implemented with a combination of bushfire recovery and environmental funding. Consent from NSW Crown Lands and the property owners has been obtained to conduct the works.
Work began on Monday – recent rain caused delays as the ground was too wet to start.
Council’s invasive species supervisor Paul Martin says it’s a big job, and while habitat trees will be retained, all the weeds need to go.
“This is a project that needs to be carried out strategically to be effective,” Mr Martin said.
“With the sheer number of weeds in the creek area, there will be a lot of seeds stored in the soil, and more will be washed down from upstream, so the land managers will need to control the weeds for the next decade or more.”
Mr Martin said a lot of the weeds were garden escapees – like madeira vine and honeysuckle – so residents could help by getting rid of these plants from their gardens too.
Contractors will use manual, mechanical and chemical weed control in stages to minimise disturbance to the creek banks. Where there’s a risk, erosion control methods and immediate revegetation with native plants will help ensure bank stability.
The work will be conducted along the creek between the Mogo Public School in the south, and the bridge opposite Dog Trap Road in the north. Works will be staged, starting at John Street Reserve, progressing north. It is hoped all four stages will be completed by the end of 2021, with maintenance and follow-up work next year, subject to available funding and resources.
Mr Martin said there had also been interest from Mogo community members to establish a Mogo Landcare group to help with ongoing maintenance.
“Getting the property owners and volunteers on board will be necessary to manage the area in the longer term,” he said.