Rockhampton tackles Giant Rat Tail Grass

Article image - Rockhampton tackles Giant Rat Tail Grass Chair of Environment Committee, Councillor Sandra O'Brien, Council Property Pest Management Officer Brian Gall, Chair of Health and Regulatory Committee, Councillor Tony Williams and FRCC Executive Officer Jeff Krause examine the spread of Giant Rat Tail Grass across the region.

The Rockhampton Pest Management Unit is using a variety of techniques to assist landowners to identify Giant Rat Tail Grass (GRT).The grass is an aggressive plant that can reduce pasture productivity and cause natural areas to be degraded. It was originally introduced in the early 1960s via contaminated pasture seed.

The issue is considered so serious that the Federal Government has given the NSW North Coast's Primary Industries Institute at Trenayr funds to study this group of invasive exotic weeds which includes the notorious Giant Parramatta Grass and Giant Rat Tail

Fitzroy River and Coastal Catchments (FRCC) Executive Officer Jeff Krause said GRT can quickly diminish the biodiversity of the area in which it becomes established, reducing both its environmental and economic value.

"FRCC works closely with government and local community based groups as well as hundreds of landholders to minimise the impact and spread of declared pest plants," he said.

Landholders have been called upon to help fight the spread of the grass by the Rockhampton Regional Council, which is planning a series of workshops to increase knowledge of effective control methods.

Rockhampton Health and Regulatory Committee Chair Tony Williams said Council is concerned about reports of GRT in previously uninfected areas.

"During the last three months we have received a significant increase in enquires regarding the presence of GRT in the Rockhampton Region," he said. "Landholders need to inspect their properties regularly to ensure their properties are free of this weed.

"If GRT is found on a property the owner needs to develop a control strategy and undertake control measures immediately to prevent the weed establishing and spreading. It is easier to prevent the establishment of this weed than controlling it once established on a property."

For further information contact Operations Manager - Natural Resource Management Ian Dare on 1300 225 577.