Taking edge off spread of serrated tussock

Landowners in the St Andrews, Watsons Creek and Plenty areas on Melbourne’s outer north-east are being urged to remain vigilant and act against serrated tussock.

Leading Biosecurity Officer Annie Lamb said an estimated 65 properties will be inspected by biosecurity officers during June and July for this highly invasive grass.

“Most of the properties will have light infestations, so our chances of controlling serrated tussock infestations is high.

“We will be working with landholders to provide information on how to identify serrated tussock and provide advice on best practice management. If required, enforcement notices will be issued under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.”

Ms Lamb said under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, all land managers have a responsibility to prevent the growth and spread of serrated tussock.

“Serrated tussock poses a serious economic and environmental threat by outcompeting native and pasture species and causing ill health in stock or in extreme cases death.

“Stock will eat around serrated tussock, leaving gaps for it to invade and eventually take over.

“Apart from its invasive qualities, serrated tussock has little nutritional value and by eating it stock can starve on a full stomach.

“It can also take over areas of native vegetation and can impact native fauna species. For example, serrated tussock infestations in this area can pose a serious threat to species such as the Eltham Copper Butterfly.

“Landowners can prevent this devastating weed taking over and becoming a monoculture by preventing its spread.”

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