Prickly pear dominates North West Local Land Services Board

Jack Murray and Neil Warden of Cumborah with LLS board member Russell Webb (centre).

Jack Murray and Neil Warden of Cumborah with LLS board member Russell Webb (centre).

The new North West Local Land Services Board met for the second time last month, with a strong focus on biosecurity issues in the north-west of the state.

The cactus can have devastating effects on land productivity.

The cactus can have devastating effects on land productivity.

Meeting in Walgett, North West LLS staff briefed the board, local landholders, local council representatives and members of the NSW Farmers Association on the excellent work being done locally to reduce the impact of both wild dogs, and priority weeds.

The two-day meeting included a tour of Hudson pear control projects at Cumborah and Grawin, where locals Neil Warden, Jack Murray and James Foster are working to a regular schedule to control and prevent further spread of the priority weed.

A first hand look at how  Hudson pear is infiltrating the landscape.

A first hand look at how Hudson pear is infiltrating the landscape.

The cactus can have devastating effects on land productivity and local ecosystems.

Under the new North West Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan, weeds formerly known as noxious are termed ‘priority weeds’, and Hudson pear is in the top six in the North West.

“Hudson pear really is a cruel plant and can do so much damage to animals,” Tamworth-based board member, Russell Webb, said. 

“We want to see everyone working together with the Local Land Services team to keep it in check. 

“All you need is a big rain event, and the barbs will be spread all over the place – it’s important we get on top of it now before it’s all through the Murray-Darling system.”  

North West LLS Chair, Conrad Bolton said it was important the local board saw first-hand the issues landholders are dealing with right across the region.

“We have a huge area to cover, including a variety of industries and markets,” he said. “The new board bring together a broad set of skills in agribusiness and marketing, along with their experiences in primary production.

“It’s exciting to be out in the community, hearing about issues that are a threat to productivity, and working together to achieve great outcomes for our community.”

Locals, regardless of where they live, are encouraged to become aware of their General Biosecurity Duty, which includes home gardens and nurseries, so they can take action when required.

The North West LLS will be at AgQuip (site E-F 16-17) and ready to answer questions and help locals navigate the new legislation.

For more information about your General Biosecurity Duty, and how to meet your obligations under the Biosecurity Act, download the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plan.