Our Environment

Our environment trees on roadside

1. Fruit Fly

Fruit Fly control is no longer regulated. This means that government agencies, including Councils, do not carry out Fruit Fly control. Even the Griffith/MIA region is no longer protected by Department of Agriculture bait spraying programs or through restricting movement of fruit into these areas.

It is up to the individual to protect their own fruit, whether it is back yards or major commercial orchards.

Steps to take in managing Fruit Fly are -

  •  Setting up traps to monitor presence of flies
  •  Use of bait spraying and Fruit Fly pots (which can be home made)
  •  Picking up fallen fruit
  •  Pruning or removing unwanted trees
  •  Netting vegetable gardens or bagging individual fruit

More information about Fruit Fly is available HERE or by contacting your Local Land Services office in West Wyalong.

2.  Spiny Burr Grass

A Spiny Problem

Spiny Burr Grass

Spiny Burr Grass Bland Shire Council noxious weed staff are currently installing signage warning the public about the threat of Spiny Burr Grass.

This work follows on from the previous installation of red guide posts to identify infestations on roadside sites.

The posts were originally designed to alert Council operational staff and also the general public of the dangers of movement through the areas. They are red in colour and labeled with the letters: BSC SBG.

Spiny Burr grass is a serious noxious weed threat to the Bland Shire region. Infestations have now established on several properties and many roadside, railway and other areas.

Spiny Burr grass is a spreading annual grass, usually ranging from 30-60 cm in height. It germinates in spring/summer, growing through to autumn. It appears very similar to many other grasses, and is hard to identify until mature when it develops a spiny burr about the size and shape of a common Cathead, or Caltrop burr.

Several of these burrs can occur on the top of each stem and can number anywhere from 20 – 200 per plant. The spines of the burr are needle sharp and barbed, and are able to penetrate and adhere to almost anything they come in contact with. The seed spreads extremely easily through the ability of the barbed burr to cling to wool, fur, clothing and tyres. Wind and water can also move the burr readily.

Shearing of infested sheep can be a very difficult and painful process for shearers and wool handlers. It can also cause lameness in dogs and sheep. Because of its ability to spread, movement of sheep can be made very difficult. Spiny Burr grass seed may be easily spread when infested sheep are sold through sale yards, direct to other landholders, agisted on properties, or moved along roads.

Land owners need to be aware that under the Noxious Weeds Act the plant must be managed in a manner that reduces its numbers spread and incidence, and that it must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed. This statement emphasizes the obligations of affected landholders and the management and sale of stock- particularly sheep, or any other means of spread.

Although Council carries out regular control work on roadsides, landholders should be very aware of the risks associated in moving stock or machinery along roadsides, rail lines or any other areas where infestations may occur. Areas should be physically checked prior to any movement and constant vigilance maintained.

To assist landholders and the general public, Council is working towards establishing a map of existing roadside and rail infestations on the Bland Shire Council website.

For further information, including locations of current infestations and control methods, please contact the Noxious Weed Control Officer at Bland Shire Council.

3.  Red Guide Posts

Red Guide Posts are being installed along roadsides throughout the Riverina & Central Western NSW (by weed officers) to identify known locations of high risk noxious weeds.

The Red Guide Posts alert road users of the site they need to avoid to prevent further spread of noxious weeds along high risk pathways.

This project was funded through the NSW Government Weeds Action Program (WAP) New Innovative Projects; Murray LLS; Eastern Riverina Noxious Weeds Advisory Group; Western Riverina Noxious Weeds Advisory Group & Lachlan Valley Weeds Advisory Committee. More information is available at riverinaweeds.org.au

4. Illegal burning and dumping

In the past year, Council has had issues with various practices being carried out by landholders and the general public on road reserves (roadsides) without authorisation.

One such practice has been the clearing and/or burning of trees and other vegetation.

Apart from the obvious environmental impacts, this can be very dangerous as in one case where a fire got out of control and burnt out a long segment of road reserve. This in turn caused several trees to fall on or close to the road. This incident could quite easily have become much more serious.

Any form of clearing or burning is not permitted on Council road reserves without specific permission from Council. Fines apply.

  Another practice has been the dumping of rubbish, particularly old fencing material and other waste on road reserves. This practice is illegal and can attract heavy penalties. It is also unsightly, and can cause animals to become entangled or poisoned.

No dumping of rubbish is permitted on road reserves or other Council land, excepting landfills within the Bland Shire region. Road reserves contain much of the regions’ rare and endangered species of plants and animals. They provide connectivity, allowing movement of wildlife from one area to another which is critical for their survival. They also provide shade and shelter to livestock on adjoining properties. As such they should be treated with care and respect.

Further information can be obtained by reading Bland Shire Councils’ Roadside Vegetation Management Guide available on Councils’ website, or by contacting Councils Environmental Officer.