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Weeds officers from MidCoast Council have been busy managing a high priority noxious weed impacting the Manning River.
Senegal Tea Plant (Gymnocoronis spilanthoides) is a new and emerging weed which was first discovered in the Gloucester area by MidCoast Council’s Catchment Weeds Biosecurity Officer, Mark Tull, during a 2012 recreational fishing expedition.
Senegal Tea Plant is a native of tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Americas, from Mexico to Argentina.
The plant is now a Class 1 declared species in NSW and is on the alert list for environmental weeds that threaten biodiversity and cause other environmental damage.
Although in the early stages of establishment, these weeds have the potential to seriously degrade Australia’s ecosystems if left untreated.
Surveys conducted across the MidCoast region have revealed infestations of this high priority weed species scattered along approximately 60km of the Manning River (120km stream banks) from Gloucester to Wingham.
"Surveying and management of Senegal Tea infestations is extremely difficult due to accessibility limitations, as the plant often invades nooks and crannies in the shallows of riparian and wetland areas," said Terry Inkson, MidCoast Council’s Strategic Weeds Biosecurity Officer.
“A combination of specialised equipment is often necessary to gain access to remote areas and treat infestations,” added Terry.
The team at MidCoast Council has secured funding to assist in the management of known Senegal Tea infestations until 2018 and are continually on the lookout for new infestations, with monitoring and surveys ongoing.
If you would like information on Senegal Tea or have concerns about the plant being on your land, please contact one of MidCoast Council’s friendly Weeds Officers for advice and assistance by calling 6591 7222.