October 25, 2012
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has completed a serrated tussock compliance project in the Pykes Creek area near Ballan. The work is part of a broader campaign to contain serrated tussock to its current extent and send a clear message to landowners that it must be controlled. DPI Biosecurity Officer Deven McPhan said DPI staff inspected 18 properties covering 1,500 hectares within the Pykes Creek area. “Eight properties required further serrated tussock control and were issued with direction notices, this means the landholders were legally required to control serrated tussock infestations on their property.” Mr McPhan said follow-up inspections of each of these properties had now been completed. “Following recent inspections, three of these properties were found to have failed to undertake sufficient work to control serrated tussock on their property which resulted in the department issuing fines totalling $2,815. “DPI, in conjunction with the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party, is taking action to prevent further establishment of serrated tussock, and this project aims to support landholders who are taking action against the weed,” Mr McPhan said. Landowners have a legal responsibility to manage pest plants and animals on their property to ensure they don’t adversely affect agricultural production on neighbouring farms or impact on the natural environment. Mr McPhan said where non-compliance for pest control occurs penalties can apply. “Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act (CaLP) 1994 landowners are liable for fines up to $33,000. “We have a clear message from the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party, that they want DPI to enforce action on priority species such as serrated tussock and bolster community-led efforts,” he said.