Move to educate tourists on 'plant hygiene'

Submitted: Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 14:09
ThreadID: 29412 Views:2002 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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This is Sandy (not Steve, usually ad that at the end but people seem to miss it)

Found this article while reading news online from WA, thought it was interesting!

Scientists have embarked on a campaign in Western Australia to educate travellers about what they call plant hygiene.

The campaign has been launched to raise awareness among travellers of the threat posed by invasive weeds to WA's native bush.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management believes holiday-makers are often responsible for the spread of invasive weeds.

Chief executive officer Rachel McFadyen is urging travellers to clean their camping gear, clothes and vehicles before they travel to new locations.

"It depends how much people value the bush, doesn't it really? It's not a problem if you've been on sealed roads or good gravel roads the whole time," she said.

"The problem comes if you've gone off road, pushing through vegetation, picking up seed that comes in there."

The centre cites a case in the Kimberley where campers are suspected of introducing one of Queensland's worst weeds, the rubber vine, to 270 hectares around the Fitzroy River.

Dr McFadyen says seeds and plant fragments can be easily carried in vehicles, camping equipment and clothing.

"Basically people should clean up their trailers - particularly if they've been through mud or pushing through vegetation on dirt roads or off-track, they should clean the vehicles up before they move from one area to another."

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Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 14:12

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 14:12
This issue has been around since the 80's.

It's true. You only have to do the Border Track or the Canning in "seed season" and see how much you clean out of your radiator when you get home.

My brother inlaw works for AQIS and was sent to Timor with an honorary rank even though he was a civilian to supervise cleaning of the army vehicles before they returned to Australial

It's been used as an argument to keep 4wd's out of wilderness areas on the east coast for years.

AnswerID: 146793

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 14:31

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 14:31
Thanks Sandy,

Got back from a 3 month trip to the Kimberley in October and I agree with the message BUT what it doesn't say is that you are simply not allowed to clean your car or trailer in some places. So, great in theory a little harder in practice.

Not shooting the messager (I know you might be a little sensitive from a previous post) just hoping that our weed coop CEO reads this and works on a total solution before they start suggesting travel bans or the like.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 146797

Follow Up By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:19

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:19
You're right on the sensitive, I posted this and then ducked for cover.

I didn't wrtie it, I just thought it made interesting reading.

I would hate for the next step to be stopping people travelling in areas with weeds so as not to pick them up and to stop people travelling in areas without weeds so those places stay the way they are.

I think people will realise eventually it doesn't matter how bad they paint us as 4wd owners, our numbers are growing and it's a popular lifestyle.

The thing that worries me is that we'll own great vehicles in a wonderful country that none of us will be able to see unless it's with binoculars from a highway!

FollowupID: 400276

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:29

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:29
Spot on Sandy, this troubles me also and while the good doctor has a very good point so do many others that are in direct conflict with the past time we are trying to enjoy. I think the point they miss is that we as a group are responsible but that they need to work with as well to make it work - it is not really good enough to say that there is a problem without looking to a workable solution that is fair to all.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 400278

Reply By: Willem - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:20

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:20

Well..... yes..... it is an issue which has been around for eons. When Hadrian crossed the Italian Alps and others like Alexander the Great moved across Europe, the Middle East and Asia they must have carried seeds from distant places to other distant places.

So often we can buy an imported plant from the local nursery which in its turn can have an enormous growth and can spread as an invasive plant to all corners of the country.

An argument to pick on 4x4 vehicles could be better placed with the trucking industry where thousands of trucks move all over the country each day carrying, no doubt, lots of different seeds in the wheels.

Scientists would be better off coming up with a solution to exterminate feral plants before they get a hold on a territory.
AnswerID: 146883

Reply By: ev700 - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 22:07

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 22:07
I get a bit tired of State and Federal Departments adopting an 'informational' role only.

Most people would comply if 'hose down' facilities were provided on major roads. Need not restrict the facilities to major roads, some could be provided near popular attractions.

Even some cleaning stations would lessen the problems, because most travellers do not have the facilities to do it.

But no, all the departments do is put out brochures and save the $ for more and more consultants or increasing the hierarchy.

These days government departments are most unwilling to provide any sort of community services at all. The departments are not observers, they should be in there doing something practical.
AnswerID: 147068

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