Agriculture Victoria has been working closely with local authorities, land managers and community groups in Bendigo to raise awareness of the State prohibited weed, alligator weed.
There is only one alligator weed infestation that lies north of the Great Divide in Victoria. That infestation is located at Bendigo Creek.
The infestation threatens to displace local native flora, damage habitat for native animals, clog up drains and other infrastructure, and block water flow. The plant grows rapidly on both land and water.
Leading Biosecurity Incursion Control Officer Kaitlin Wright said Bendigo Creek flows through the township of Bendigo, then passes through high value farmland, Kerang’s RAMSAR-listed wetlands and into the Murray River.
‘Alligator weed poses a threat to all of these if allowed to spread beyond its current 30 km extent, and cost tens of thousands of dollars more to control,’ Ms Wright said.
‘Local land managers are working to rehabilitate and improve Bendigo Creek, including the Reimagining Bendigo Creek project, however the benefits of these works would be lost if alligator weed invaded the proposed infrastructure, frog ponds and revegetation sites.’
To protect the Bendigo Creek system, Agriculture Victoria complements an annual alligator weed eradication program by working with local authorities and community groups to raise awareness of the weed.
Ms Wright said a series of workshops over recent years have involved presentations, discussions and site visits, where participants learn to identify alligator weed and discuss potential impacts.
‘Through this engagement, Agriculture Victoria aims to increase the number of people looking for alligator weed and build partnerships so everyone can work together to protect Bendigo Creek and the downstream assets,’ she said.