Spotting weeds in the Condamine catchment

Weeds cost Queensland an estimated $600 million annually and have significant impacts on primary industries, natural ecosystems, and human and animal health.

In the Condamine catchment three Weeds of National Significance are a threat: Chilean needle grass, parthenium and blackberry. These along with other weeds are not only a threat to agriculture but some like parthenium, are noxious to animals and dangerous to people’s health.

The community groups of the Condamine catchment are continuing to play their part in locating and identifying weeds in our region through the Weedspotters program, now in its second round. Their identification skills and reporting of infestations is contributing to the understanding of weed spread and consequent control in the catchment.

Luke Harrison spots parthenium

Training in identification and sample collection is the foundation for the Weedspotters program. This helps ensure the safety of participants and integrity of the reported data.

Australia’s 56 regional natural resource management groups have helped more than 200,000 people improve land management practice over 14 million hectares of land.

The Weedspotters model

Condamine Alliance recognised that youth and community groups have two objectives in common – education and fundraising.  Our weed projects have taken advantage of this concept by enlisting the help of local community groups such as scouts and Landcare groups to identify and appropriately report sightings of key weeds and new weed threats in the catchment. Groups not only learn about their local environment but their hard work also earns their group financial incentives to support their fundraising goals.

Program key achievements

  • Surveyed approximately 500 hectares from Goombungee to Killarney for target weeds: parthenium, blackberry and Chilean needlegrass
  • Discovered parthenium infestation and recorded 62 other weeds across all sites with lantana recorded at the most sites (18)
  • Improved knowledge and skills of 14 groups, 94 people in total, to identify and report weeds
  • Engaged and developed future natural resource management leaders with the majority of participants under the age of 15
  • Reduced weed threat across a total of 490ha surveillance for outlier incursions of blackberry, Chilean needle grass and parthenium