Thumbs up for NT gamba grass weed declaration

The Invasive Species Council has welcomed the declaration of gamba grass as a weed by the Northern Territory government (which follows bans by the Queensland and Western Australian governments).

ISC also called for better protection against other fire-promoting pasture grasses.

“Gamba grass is the worst of the worst, the triffid of the plant world,” ISC Project Officer Tim Low said.

“It is a relief that the Western Australian, Queensland and now the Northern Territory governments have declared it, because it could devastate much of the northern Australian savannahs.

“Gamba grass, growing up to 4 metres tall, fuels very intensive fires, which kill trees and promote its domination of the environment.

“Much of the northern savannahs could turn into treeless monocultures of gamba grass and other flammable pasture grasses. This was a conclusion of a pest assessment by the Queensland government.

“Because it has taken so many years to ban, weʼve already got an enormous problem.

“Governments should now be working to eradicate it where possible and contain it where eradication is not possible.

“They should also be working on a broader strategy to address the harm of other such grasses, all of which were deliberately introduced in a misguided attempt to create new pastures.

“The Invasive Species Council calls on the Federal government to declare flammable invasive grasses a key threatening process and fund a strategy jointly with the states to limit their use and manage their impacts.

“Under climate change, with more fires predicted in northern Australia, these highly flammable grasses could cause even more devastation. An important part of adapting to climate change is to reduce the harm caused by flammable invasive grasses,” Mr Low concluded.

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