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Roadside Weed and Pest Management Program

Council's Roadside Weed and Pest Management Program (RWPP) is an annual weed and rabbit control program on Council managed roadsides.

Roadside Pest and Weed Management Program

The majority of this work takes place between September and January each year. Council also undertakes pest control on bush reserves and along the Rail Trail.

These programs aim to protect native vegetation and eradicate pests that can be an issue for landholders and industry. Council is also committed to pest control under the Catchment and Land Protection (CALP) Act 1994. 81% of RCOW roadsides are of high or medium conservation value. Weeds and physical disturbance are the major threats to these valuable environmental assets.

Target pests include:

  • all listed noxious weeds for the North East region
  • some environmental weeds including Blue Periwinkle
  • wild fruit trees (to control fruit fly)
  • rabbits

You can see the full list of target weeds in the fact sheet below.

For further information or to report noxious weed or rabbit warren locations please contact the RWPP coordinator on 03 5722 0888 or email environment@wangaratta.vic.gov.au.

RWPP Weed Control Works

Four local weed control contractors are responsible for removing weeds from roadside reserves through the Roadside Weed and Pest Management Program.

All weed control contractors operate under a licence and abide by Victorian safety standards.

Chemicals

The chemicals used in weed control are herbicides, which target specific weed species. Herbicides are plant specific chemicals, unlike pesticides which control insects and small animals. See the fact sheet below for the list of chemicals used for each target weed, and the timing of treatment.

Control Methods

Most weeds are controlled by spot spraying. Operators use spray guns (on a hose from a reel on the truck) and spray the target weed. This minimises the amount of chemical used. Spraying is not conducted near vineyards, orchards or hop gardens until after leaf fall in autumn. Other methods of weed control include:

  • cutting and painting (with herbicide) stems of small woody weeds
  • injecting herbicide into the stem of mature trees

New weeds

New and emerging weeds are a key focus. The program aims to prevent them becoming established in the municipality. There are small infestations of Coolatai and African Love Grass which are treated annually. Serrated Tussock is on the watch list. Notification of weeds by ratepayers is welcomed as it is not possible to inspect every roadside every year.

RWPP Rabbit Control Works

Rabbit control is carried out annually on Council managed lands (primarily roadsides and the Rail Trail).

Control Methods

Council employs a contractor to destroy burrows using a ‘Rodenator’’, which works by imploding the warrens. This eradicates any rabbits in the burrows and destroys the warren system. The "Rodenator" is the safest and most effective way of eliminating rabbits as it has a low impact on infrastructure and native vegetation. Landholders may report hearing explosions in the immediate locality. Generally contractors notify local police where they are working.

Timing

The bulk of the control work (approximately 10 days) is carried out in Autumn, during dry conditions after the fire danger period has passed. Follow-up work is also carried out in spring on new or very extensive warrens (approximately two days).

The program operates in partnership with Landcare groups and the DELWP Compliance Program. If you know of any active warrens on Council Land, contact Council to add it to the annual works list.

Other Council Weed Control Works

The RWPP is separate from other roadside vegetation and pest control programs carried out by Council. Road maintenance is undertaken by Council's Vegetation Management team.

This program targets road shoulders, around culverts, drains, signage and guide posts. The aim of the program is to provide a clear view zone and fuel reduced corridors by removing vegetation. This is part of the Fire Prevention Strategy of the Municipality.

These two different programs have different aims, operational works and funding sources.

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