$600K spent trying to eradicate weeds this financial year
Rous County Council has spent $645,000 in weed eradication programs so far for the 2020/21 financial year, from an expected total of $1.425 million.
The fund s are a mix of grants to combat specific weeds, plus the Weeds Action program.
Besides administering flooding programs and potable water treatment and distribution, Rous County Council also manages weed control programs for Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Ballina and Lismore City councils.
One of those programs includes a Tropical Soda Aple eradication program in the Byron Shire.
Rous will undertake four site visits across 25 properties over a 12-month period.
It is also in charge of safely disposing of the plan remnants.
RCC also obtaining grant funding of $39,000 from Local Land Services, and a further $35,000 from NSW DPI under the Bushfire Recovery Stimulus.
Rous also obtained a further $250,000 from NSW DPI under the second round of the Bushfire Recovery Stimulus for direct on-ground control of Topical Soda Apple in properties within 50km of the fire area with TSA present.
The funding supports recovery of impacted properties and the community by allowing councils to engage additional staff to undertake additional property inspections in fire-affected areas to identify and manage Tropical Soda Apple.
Rous' general manager, Phillip Rudd, said it was crucial that a TSA program was put in place after the fires.
"The bushfire affected areas are such a fertile environment for TSA to take over, so we must combat it before it gets away," he said.
Mr Rudd said the funds also allow Rous to offer extra jobs locally.
"We have dome some recruitment and we have also engaged subcontractors," he said.
"With TSA, time is of the essence, we have to get this done as soon as possible."
Local Land Services has also revised the Weeds Action Program from $524,900 to $642,500, an increase of $117,600.
This will cover the first of a five-year-allocation program.
Another $15,000 grant has been sourced from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to identify the parthenium weed on the Northern Rivers.
An area of Frogbit (Limnobium sp) has been identified following an inquiry by a member of the public, and a subsequent inspection from Rous' Weed Biosecurity officers.
The plant is listed as a statewide prohibited matter and is classified as one of the state's highest priorities.
RCC obtained $15,000 grant funding from DPI to undertake control treatment and extra inspections of downstream waterways over the next six months.
Rous County Council will discuss its weed control programs at their next meeting on Wednesday, February 17.