Specialist training weeds out priority issue for Upper Hunter

Published on 16 May 2022

Singleton Council has teamed up with Local Land Services, Muswellbrook Shire Council and Upper Hunter Shire Council to boost front-line of defence of weeds in the region.

Across the Hunter, hundreds of hectares of high-risk sites and several hundred kilometres of pathways and road reserves are treated for priority weeds on public lands every year.

A $10,000 contribution from Local Land Services will provide training to 20 Council officers from Singleton, Muswellbrook and the Upper Hunter Shire, to be hosted in Singleton this week, increasing awareness about priority weeds including species identification, surveillance, and proper weed hygiene management.

Justin Fitzpatrick - Barr, Singleton Council’s Director Infrastructure and Planning Services said the training coincided with the arrival of Council’s new custom-designed, state-of-the-art weed spraying truck. Council is also developing a Weed Hygiene Procedure.

“After land clearing, weeds are recognised as the most serious threat to endangered native plants and animals in NSW, which is why we’re investing in our procedures, our fleet and our people to ensure we have the right measures in place to tackle weeds across our local government area,” he said. 

“Weeds also pose a serious threat to our local farming industry, and our investment into strategic weed management practices demonstrates Council’s appreciation of the continued importance of agriculture to our region, our economy and in the social fabric of Singleton.”

Mr Fitzpatrick - Barr said the Weed Hygiene training was also a key deliverable of Council’s Weed Management Strategy action plan, improving Council’s ability to effectively manage and monitor priority weeds within the Singleton area. 

“We know that the best and most cost-effective means of weed control is prevention, and this training, delivered by the Department of Primary Industries, goes to the heart of that,” he said. 

“Combined with the arrival of our new $250,000 weed spraying vehicle, this is a gamechanger for us as the first line of defence to tackling the problem of priority weeds, bringing with it a whole new level of efficiency and understanding of vegetation and weed maintenance for our crews.”

For more information about weeds in the Singleton local government area, visit https://www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/601/Weeds