New website to help ‘battle the thorny menace’

A new website has been launched providing a whole host of information and resources to battle the thorny weeds of mesquite and parkinsonia in the Pilbara.

The Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee (PMMC) is a not-for-profit group which combines the knowledge and skills of government, industry, research, pastoral and community sectors to tackle the Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) in the Pilbara.

Project Manager Linda Anderson said the PMMC operates with funding from Rangelands NRM, the State NRM Office and private industry, and focuses on work on-ground and with pastoral stations in the region.

“We provide training, the equipment and demonstrate how to control the weeds,” Ms Anderson said. “The pastoralists then take the knowledge and put it into practice.”

In 2007, with the support of the Rangelands NRM and local pastoralists, the PMMC commenced its first broad scale control program of mesquite across the Pilbara. This is still continuing today in a partnership arrangement with land managers, tenement holders and the government.

“Of increasing importance to the PMMC is facilitating the development of fully resourced and documented long-term weed management programs,” Ms Anderson said.

“We are leveraging investment from large resource projects in the Pilbara to assist in managing weeds on their tenements and adjoining lands. This investment is currently in the order of $1 million per year.”

Handheld GPS with dataloggers are used to record where people have been and where weeds have been controlled.

“We are getting fantastic maps coming back showing really excellent coverage and plants we would have never found if they hadn’t been gridding out areas,” Ms Anderson said. “Eventually this type of information will be available online to track how the control is progressing.”

The website can be visited at: http://www.pilbaramesquite.com.au/