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Weed dumping worry for Otway parks

Wednesday 12 September, 2012

With a hint of warmer weather in the air many gardens are flourishing and plants are growing rapidly, making it an ideal time for people to finish their weeding and pruning.

Most people take good care to dispose of their weeds responsibly, but Parks Victoria has seen a number of instances where large quantities of garden waste has been illegally dumped along roadsides and in the Great Otway National Park.

Parks Victoria’s Ranger in Charge at Apollo Bay, Jack Dinkgreve, says plants such as Agapanthus, Arum Lily, English Ivy, Watsonia, Bluebell creeper, Banana Passionfruit, pampas grass and roses are now flourishing in bushland where they should never be seen.

“These garden escapees become a major environmental threat as they invade the native bushland, spread far and wide and often out-compete the native vegetation.”

“The Otways are such a special place, so it is important we protect them,” Mr Dinkgreve said.

Environmental weeds alter the natural landscape and can contribute to the extinction of local plant species, and can reduce available habitat and or food for wildlife.

Weed dumping can also increase fuel loads and make areas more fire prone, and they can change water cycles and even cause erosion.

“People who illegally dump weeds in our parks and reserves can receive a penalty or be prosecuted, and we will actively investigate instances of dumping,” added Mr Dinkgreve.

You can help to protect our natural environment by:

  • Removing environmental weeds from your property – bag or incinerate them
  • Disposing of all your garden waste either in your green bin or at the tip, not in bushland, along roadsides or in the National Park
  • Planting non-invasive local indigenous species in your garden (contact a local nursery for information)
  • Join a local conservation group and work in a team to remove environmental weeds from native bushland in the region.

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