Last year Gwydir Shire Council Weed Biosecurity Officers investigated reports of a Parthenium weed incursion in the Croppa Creek area. Investigations confirmed this to be true and further inspections were conducted with all visible plants removed and destroyed under a coordinated regional response with Local Government, North West Local Land Services and DPI staff.
This week a delimitation survey was conducted along a 14 km reach of Croppa creek and adjoining lands to ascertain the distribution and density of parthenium within and adjacent to the Croppa creek incursion site. This was another regional response with great cross regional collaboration with 14 team members from Local Land Services and Local Council Associations (LCAs) as well as staff from the New England and Central West joining North West LCAs, Local Land Services and DPI staff.
The survey was treated as a Search and Destroy mission with the teams methodically scouring the area through all manner of obstacles, vegetation, animal pads and tracks, mud holes, thick Tea tree, dodging wild pigs and snakes just to keep it challenging.
Over 500 individual plants were identified ranging from small stressed plants with single flowers and seed heads to large plants over one metre tall with multiple flowers and seed heads and anything in between. All plants removed, bagged, site tagged and GPS’d. All plants were destroyed, and each individual site was treated to delay further germination. All personnel and vehicles were decontaminated before leaving the site to prevent spreading seed.
It is anticipated that further inspections and treatments will need to be conducted next over the coming months.