Southern Councils Group has received nearly half a million dollars from the NSW Government’s $8.7 million 2010-15 Weeds Action Program.
The grant funding for the South Coast of $445,000 for this year, will be distributed to member Councils in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley.
"While a coordinated approach was needed to develop the 5 year application, the Councils are best placed to prioritise and control the weeds in their own locality," said Mr Brian MacDonald, Project Officer for the Southern Councils Group.
Weeds cost the NSW economy nearly $1 Billion annually and cause untold environmental damage. With recent heavy prolonged rainfall throughout the region, South Coast Councils are battling an explosion of growth and will welcome the funding to help mount effective weed control and management programs over the next 12 months.
Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama will receive $98,500 of the allocation to control new and emerging weed species such as Giant Parramatta Grass, Water Hyacinth and Mysore Thorn and for education and work with the community to combat weeds.
Kiama Councillor and Illawarra District Noxious Weeds Authority committee member, Councillor Lexie Wheeler said "The three Illawarra councils are already contributing $120,000 to give the Illawarra a combined $218,000 weed control program over the next 12 months. In addition, Councils work with other major land management authorities and owners, and will seek federal funding for Weeds of National Significance (WONS)."
The NSW Weeds Action Program is the NSW Government initiative to provide a strategic and coordinated approach to weed management as part of the NSW Invasive Species Plan.