Weeds are one of the most serious threats to Australia's environment and primary production. Nationally pest plants continue to invade the land with exotic species accounting for about 15 per cent of flora. About one-quarter of them are either serious environmental weeds or have the potential to be serious weeds. Almost all of Australia's native vegetation has been, or could be, affected by weeds. Those affects could include changes to the structure, species composition, fire frequency and abundance of native ecosystems.
Weeds reduce farm and forest productivity, displace native species and contribute to land degradation. The cost of weeds to agricultural industries is estimated at about $4 billion a year. The cost of weeds to the environment is difficult to calculate but could be greater than the estimated cost to agricultural industries.
To combat weeds the Australian Government and all state and territory governments developed the Australian Weeds Strategy (formerly the National Weeds Strategy). Under the strategy, 32 of Australia's most significant weed species are listed as Weeds of National Significance.
The Australian Government has committed $15.3 million over four years, from 2008-09 for the National Weeds and Productivity Research Program. The program will fund into biocontrols and tools that will reduce the impact of invasive plants on farm and forestry productivity and also on biodiversity.
For more information email the weeds contact officer.
02 Jul 2012