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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
Senator Ian Macdonald
&
Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water
Steven Kons
&
Tasmanian Minister for Environment and Planning
Judy Jackson

19 May 2005

Cradle coast weeds will wither with new strategy


Tasmania's Cradle Coast will benefit from a new strategy to control the weed menace, thanks to the Australian Government's $48,000 investment under the Natural Heritage Trust.

The Weed Management Strategy will be launched today by Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, and Tasmanian Ministers Steven Kons and Judy Jackson.

Senator Campbell said strategic weed management was critical to improving the overall health of the Cradle Coast environment and this plan sets out short, medium and long-term goals to address the problem.

"Weeds are a significant issue on many levels, from environmental to economic and social values. Weeds choke out native plants, diminish habitat and food sources for native animals, affect a variety of industries and have significant impacts on both Indigenous and European cultural heritage sites," he said.

"This comprehensive strategy systematically tackles weed problems, from slowing the spread of major infestations to preventative measures like educating school children about what weeds can do to the environment.

Senator Macdonald said the economic impacts of weeds on agriculture could not be underestimated.

"Weeds like blackberry and gorse can have a devastating impact on grazing land, from reduced pasture quality to blocked access to water sources, and seeds can affect both the processing and quality of wool," he said.

Mr Kons noted that land based weeds were not the only problem.

"Coastal and marine weeds such as Marram grass and sea spurge are reducing biodiversity along the coasts, while more familiar weeds like willows affect both the water quality and habitat value of streams and creeks," he said.

Ms Jackson congratulated Greening Australia for its contribution to the strategy.

"This weed management strategy will help determine the long-term sustainable use and conservation of our natural resources, and it's wonderful to see solid research and planning backing this important project," she said.

For further information about the Natural Heritage Trust visit www.nht.gov.au, or for the National Action Plan visit www.napswq.gov.au

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office)  (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
David Crisafulli (Senator Macdonald's office)  (07) 4771 3066 or 0400 144 483
Tony Scott  (Minister Kons's office)  (03) 6336 2443 or 0417 051 255
David Nicholson  (Minister Jackson's office)  (03) 6233 2451 or 0438 046 456

Commonwealth of Australia