What are Catchment Working Groups?
Do you live in a rural area and want to protect your property from noxious weed infestations? Then you may be interested in forming, or joining an existing Catchment Working Group.
Catchment Working Groups are a collection of neighbouring property owners, with land along a common watercourse or water catchment area. The primary aims of Catchment Working Groups are:-
- To control outbreaks of noxious weeds on strategic parcels of land within their catchment to prevent weed seed spreading downstream in times of flood.
- To pool landowner resources (spray equipment, vehicles and labour) for working days to tackle outbreaks of weeds in strategic areas.
- Landowners helping each other improve the quality of their land through the control of declared pests within the catchment.
There are currently four active catchment working groups in the region, the Boyne Valley Catchment Working Group, the Calliope River Catchment Working Group, the Raglan Creek Catchment Working Group and the Bracewell Sub Catchment Working Group. Council has been working with these groups on declared pest projects within their catchments.
The Raglan Catchment Working Group has already achieved some great on-ground work within their catchment. The Group has also been successful in securing funding for a noxious week control project at the head of the Raglan Creek, which will produce great benefits for all properties in the catchment.
The benefits of catchment working groups are:-
- The pooling of resources allows landowners to achieve considerably more on-ground work.
- Landowners may be eligible for funding assistance for land improvement projects.
- Council provides administrative assistance for group meetings and can help with the preparation of funding applications.
- Council provides the group with advice and practical assistance with working days on land within the catchment. Councils Noxious Weeds staff generally help the groups with labour and equipment on working days.
- The groups share information regarding noxious weeds (ie. Identifying species, best control methods, etc).
The groups can access information and resources through other support agencies such as the Fitzroy Basin Association and Bio-security Queensland - Dapartment of Primary Industries and Fisheries.
If you would like more information on the Raglan and Bracewell Catchment Working Groups, or you would like to form a new group in your catchment, please contact Councils Coordinator Conservation and Rural Land Management, Darryl Saw on 4977 6899 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Councils Coordinator Conservation and Rural Land Management will coordinate catchment meetings and support the formation and ongoing operation of catchment working groups. Council recognises that these groups will probably cover land management issues in total rather than simply noxious weeds, however Councils involvement is limited to noxious weeds.
Councils support of the group may include:
- Call meetings for all landholders within defined catchment areas;
- Provide administrative and other required support to assist in the formation of catchment working groups;
- Liaise and where necessary organise meetings with groups such as FBA, CPMG and others to obtain funding, information and other support from government of regional organisations;
- Provide technical support in areas such as pesticides and other control methods;
- Provide assistance in the establishment of Catchment Pest Management Plans; and
- Provide equipment and workers if possible to assist in working days.
The achievement of this strategy in short being, that landholders will help each other to destroy infestations and control the spread of noxious weeds within the rural area.
Boyne Valley Catchment Working Group
The Boyne Valley Catchment Working Group represents a group of local landowners, Gladstone Regional Council, Boyne Calliope Sub Region of the Fitzroy Basin Association, Gladstone Area Water Board and other interested persons who meet regularly to discuss land management issues and to help each other with projects. The group was formed in early 2006 and have worked well together towards improved noxious weed control and other land management issues within the catchment.
Achievements so far include:
- Giant Rats Tail Grass (GRT) control workshop and field visit at Ubobo
- GRT spot spraying working days on two Boyne River properties
- Cats Claw Creeper control presentation by Lyn Browne (The Cats Claw Lady) from Gympie and District Landcare Group
- Instigating trial release of Cats Claw Creeper Bio-control Agent Tingid sap sucking bug in the Boyne River, funded by Gladstone Regional Council, Gladstone Area Water Board and Fitzroy Basin Association
- Successful funding for related landholder projects sourced through the Boyne Calliope Sub Region
- Instigating holding of a well attended Peter Andrews Natural Sequence Farming workshop funded by Boyne Calliope Sub Region
- Coordinator Jill Hopson organising and providing the venue for a Biodynamic Agriculture Australia workshop at Ubobo. Comments from the first working day where the group put out 3,000 litres of spray, covering a significant area of the river and adjoining creek banks included, "Local landowners were very pleased to receive the practical assistance from the Group." One landowner commented, "It would have taken one person a week to achieve what we achieved in a single day."
Recently appointed Sub Region Field Officers are looking forward to continuing working with members to achieve successful outcomes. All residents in the Boyne River Catchment are most welcome to become involved in the group. The more property owners that get involved, the more successful the outcomes will be for the whole catchment. To get involved telephone Group Coordinator, Jill Hopson 4974 1145 or Councils Coordinator Conservation and Rural Land Management, Lindsay Boyd on 4977 6899 or via email email@example.com