Challenges for weed management

As in all regions, prevention is the most desirable and cost-effective approach to weed control. It is especially critical in areas that are still relatively weed-free. Unfortunately, there are currently no restrictions on importing plants into north-east Arnhem land.

Prevention issues

There is a strong case to develop an approved list of plant species, and for residents to be restricted to planting these or local native species. Movement of weed seeds also occurs through importation of hay to use as garden mulch. In addition, the numerous low-level creek crossings in the region provide great potential for weed propagules to be washed off vehicles and infest currently clean catchments. All these issues need to be addressed.

Education and awareness

Education and awareness are also vital. The Caring for Country Unit of the Northern Land Council and Greening Australia's Aboriginal Landcare Education Program are running culturally appropriate programs to help Aboriginal people deal with weed problems. These and similar programs need to be extended, with particular emphasis on developing suitable educational materials and training.