The Southern Tasmanian Weed Strategy has claimed an Australian first by undertaking a bottom-up priority setting process using the National Post-border Weed Risk Management Protocol.
This means that the region now has a list of priority weeds which can feed back into allocation of funding, council planning, and the Nursery and Garden Industry, to name a few of its uses.
The Southern Tasmanian Weed Strategy 2005-2010 identifies “Regional involvement in the development and implementation of a prioritisation process for weed species” as a high priority.
The Strategy sourced species for the regional priority list using the declared weeds list, agriculturally significant weeds, known environmental weeds, beach weeds, Weeds of National Significance and species identified in municipal strategies.
A simple regional priority list was developed from these sets, reflecting species which threaten economic, environmental and social values in southern Tasmania.
The next step in the prioritisation process was to give the list some meaning at municipal level.
The regional list was modified on an individual basis for each of southern Tasmania’s twelve councils by assessing: priorities as defined in municipal weed strategies, species’ presence/absence in the municipality, municipal zone status under the Weed Management Act and feasibility of species’ eradication from that council area.
This process was undertaken in accordance with Standards Australia’s new National Post-border Weed Risk Management Protocol, which establishes a best practice for weed priority-setting.
Products from the prioritisation are: a regional list of priority weeds and twelve municipal lists of priority weeds. Importantly, the lists don’t impose new priorities on councils which have already documented where they are going with weeds. Rather, the lists support councils with the weed-led priorities they have already defined.
‘Real world’ priorities
Priorities have already found their way into the “real world”.
Some councils have adopted municipal lists for priority-setting and the Strategy has identified the potential for the list to guide cooperative weed management by major regional land managers.
For more information about priorities and the priority-setting process, please contact Jonah Gouldthorpe, Southern Tasmanian Weed Strategy on 0437 450 143.
Implementation of the Southern Tasmanian Weed Strategy 2005-2010 is funded by the Australian Government through NRM South.