Feral-free freeway

CHECKS: Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Officer Dwayne Godfrey checking the vehicle tyres for any weed seeds hitching a ride.

CHECKS: Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Officer Dwayne Godfrey checking the vehicle tyres for any weed seeds hitching a ride.

Natural Resources South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB) and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) are working together to help prevent feral weeds travelling along the South-Eastern Freeway.

SAMDB District Manager Sarah Lance said the latest freeway program aims to control infestations of buffel grass, fountain grass, African lovegrass, boxthorn and silver leaf nightshade.

“With support from DPTI, we are able to keep on top of one of the key weed infestation routes into our region,” Ms Lance said.

“Freeways and highways are places to be really aware of for new invasive weeds,” she said.

“Weed species from interstate and other areas can easily hitch rides on trucks and cars, in tyres, dirt on the vehicle, in the loads being carried or even inside on the carpeted flooring.

“This is why often the newest weeds into our region are spotted along the roadways and it is critical we pounce on them early.”

This spring and summer Natural Resources SAMDB will again wage war on freeway weeds, conducting surveys and checking the patches controlled in previous years.

Weeds like silver leaf nightshade, buffel grass and African lovegrass pose substantial risk to agriculture in the district, particularly in grazing systems.

“It is important to control these invasive weeds early and we are vigilant in their control,” Ms Lance said.

“Everyone can check their cars and trucks - have a look at your tyres, your carpeting inside and the amount of dirt on the vehicle or in the load you are carrying.

“Are there any weed seeds hitching a ride with you?

“If you do need to make that emergency stop along the road be mindful of where you pull over. Is there a gravelled area, rest stop or somewhere to avoid spreading weeds?” Ms Lance said.

Ms Lance is thankful for the partnership with DPTI which ensures the route is managed.

Contact the Natural Resources Centre, Murray Bridge on 8532 9100 for more information.

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