One of Australia’s most invasive weed species will be targeted at Glenbrook Lagoon following a grant of more than $300,000 to Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC).
The cabomba weed, widely used as an aquarium plant, takes over water bodies and forces native plants and animals from the area, and the Federal Government has provided $308,000 for BMCC to contain and manage a cabomba infestation at the lagoon.
“The cabomba weed is extremely invasive, and currently poses a major risk of further spread to the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park and the Sydney drinking water catchment,” Labor spokesperson for Macquarie Susan Templeman said.
“It takes over water bodies and can push out native plants and animals, so it’s important that the Blue Mountains council does what it can to prevent any spread of the weed, and reduce it as much as possible.”
BMCC nominated the cabomba eradication program under the government’s Caring for Our Country program and Mayor Daniel Myles said the council was very excited to have received the grant.
“This pervasive weed is classified as being of national significance and is an ‘aquarium escapee’, which poses a serious threat to our waterways, and all of the environmental, social and recreational benefits they provide,” he said.
“If left unchecked, it chokes waterways, excludes fish and other aquatic life, and prevents boating and swimming.
“The Glenbrook Lagoon infestation is in our sights, and council wants to hit it hard before it spreads into the Hawkesbury-Nepean River.”
Deputy Mayor and Ward 4 councillor Mark Greenhill welcomed the government funding.
“This is good news for residents in the lower Blue Mountains,” he said.
“Glenbrook Lagoon is a much loved place and represents an important part of our local diversity. For example, it is home to various forms of local bird life.
“Controlling this weed is an important part of council’s effort to preserve our local natural heritage.
“I would like to thank Susan Templeman and [NSW Labor] Senator Doug Cameron for supporting this important initiative.”
Ms Templeman also announced a further $130,000 would be provided under the grant to reduce the impact of feral pigs, deer and weeds in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
“This project will be managed by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, and will include improving on-ground management practices, increasing community participation in volunteer programs, and expanding Aboriginal co-management,” she said.
“The Federal Government’s commitment to funding this sort of program is in stark contrast to the approach by the NSW Government, which simply lets shooters into parks to do the feral animal management.”