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Whitsunday Regional Council is confident that the Mimosa Pigra weed can be completely eradicated from the Whitsunday Region with continued monitoring and detection at the Peter Faust Dam.
Peter Faust Dam is the only place in Queensland where Mimosa Pigra is known to occur, with the eradication program being implemented after the first weed was found in 2001.
Council’s Land Protection Officer Bren Fuller said that officers from Council and Biosecurity Queensland detected and removed another nine small Mimosa Pigra plants during the last survey, bringing the yearly total to 19.
“The dam capacity is currently at 65% and dropping and as a result we expect to find more plants with the receding water allowing some of the remaining Mimosa Pigra seeds to germinate. Our surveys are designed to detect these plants before they are mature enough to develop viable seeds,” Mr Fuller said.
“The investment over the past 15 years to try and eradicate this weed will need to continue to ensure all viable seed is exhausted. If just one plant is missed, and reaches maturity to set seed, we would be back at day one,” he said.
“The Mimosa Pigra forms impenetrable thickets 3 to 6 metres high that choke waterways and smother pastures. This plant would have severe impacts to farmers, graziers and the environment if it became established in our region.”
Mimosa Pigra seeds can remain viable in the ground for over 20 years, however, when submerged the viability is extended.
Mr Fuller encouraged landholders and the general public to report any sightings of Mimosa Pigra to Council.
The Mimosa Pigra plant has green leaves, feathery and fern-like, with the central leaf stalk beingprickly and 20-25cm long. Each leaf contains up to 16 opposite segments, each segment 5cm long and divided into pairs of leaflets which fold up at nightfall or when touched. The flowers are round, fluffy, pink or mauve balls 1- 2cm across.
The program is guided by the Mimosa Pigra Steering Committee comprised of the Whitsunday Regional Council, Biosecurity Queensland, Canegrowers Proserpine, Reef Catchments, Sunwater and land managers.
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