The Northern Territory Government has announced the establishment of a technical working group to assess the impacts of, and approaches to buffel grass management in Central Australia, which will include consideration of declaring buffel grass a weed under the Weeds Management Act 2001.
While buffel grass has provided valuable fodder as well as dust suppression and erosion control in desert areas since the 1960s, there is increasing concern about its role in heightening wildfire intensity, and associated impacts on biodiversity.
The technical working group, comprising representatives who have expertise and/or experience relevant to the management of buffel grass, will report back to the Northern Territory Government later this year.
The outcomes will build on and inform existing work already undertaken across NT Government Departments to manage buffel grass including:
– ongoing research by Weed Management Branch officers in Alice Springs;
– strategic fuel reduction programs undertaken by Bushfires NT and Parks and Wildlife; and
– activities undertaken by the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics through firebreak and road verge management programs.
To learn more about weeds and how to manage weeds in the NT visit here
Quotes from Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Security:
“The Territory Labor Government is ensuring our approaches to environmental management are up-to-date and reflect contemporary challenges.
“We acknowledge the community’s concerns around buffel grass, which is why we are establishing this important technical working group to advise on the most appropriate and effective approach to buffel grass for the Northern Territory.”