Eradication program will tackle city's growing issue

THE State Government will spend $205,000 wiping out two of Ipswich most prolific weeds.

The region's Madeira vine and bitou bush outbreaks are facing the chop under a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service $6.5m eradication program.

National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said the war against weeds was a tough one.

"Removing weeds is very labour-intensive," Mr Dickson said.

"They can grow in very rugged country and we are currently undertaking aerial surveys to find certain kinds of weeds to ensure we stop the spread of harmful plants."

Mr Dickson said weed damage could add up to the "millions of dollars".

"Weeds reduce the habitat and recreation values of our protected area estate," he said.

"Weeds can poison animals and birds, and reduce wildlife habitat for all species, from ground-dwelling mammals through to birds.

"They can kill native vegetation and change the structure of ecosystems, choke watercourses, and promote fire.

"Weeds can also ruin areas for hiking, camping, mountain biking and other recreation.

"The cost of those losses can't be quantified in the same way farmers would count the cost of weeds to agricultural production, but we do know it would be in the millions of dollars."

The $102,000 will also pay for weed eradication in Toowoomba.



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