The NSW Government will, for the first time in the region, use a scent detector dog to uncover parthenium weed in Palmvale, where the weed is suspected to be present but difficult to find, Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has announced.
Mr Provest said Connor, the springer spaniel assigned to the mission, would start sniffing out weed seedlings from today.
“Parthenium can still grow in the warmer parts of the state, like the Tweed, through autumn into winter and it’s vitally import we find these plants before they flourish and set seed in summer,” he said.
“This weed can spread rapidly, be dangerous to grazing animals and reduce crop values so it’s critical we get on top of this issue, which is why the NSW Government has launched this program in collaboration with its other management programs.
“Last month Connor successfully sniffed out parthenium weed seedlings in the Upper Hunter, so we know this is a proven method of supporting our landholders.
“By working with local councils we aim to detect and manage any plants which have emerged following treatment of parthenium weed at the site, which was first found by a diligent landholder last year,” Mr Provest said.
Mr Provest encouraged anyone who suspects parthenium weed to call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244 or their local council, who will be able to identify any suspected sightings of the weed and provide assistance in its management.
“We’ve put our management programs in place to detect and control the weed, but they work best when work hand-in-glove with landholders,” he said.
Strategic surveillance, investigations and tracing, vigilance, increased awareness and calls from the public have led to the detection of 30 parthenium weed infestations across NSW since 1 April 2020, as government bodies, industries, farmers and the community work to eradicate the weed.
NSW DPI continues to coordinate statewide surveillance of known high-risk areas in collaboration with local councils, weed control authorities and Local Land Services regional weed coordinators.
Information about parthenium weed is available from the NSW DPI website, https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/weeds/partheniumweed.