Legislative Council: Thursday, June 02, 2022


Aboriginal Lands Weed Management

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (14:54): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Will the minister update the council on the state government's work in addressing the growth of weeds on Aboriginal lands?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:55): I thank the honourable member for his question. The Department of Primary Industries and Regions regularly undertakes various forms of pest and weed management to assist local communities and industry. I am delighted to update the council today on a two-year project that PIRSA has commenced, which will be delivered by a biosecurity operations coordinator, to build the weed management capacity of Aboriginal land managers.

I am advised that in the initial stage of the project the coordinator is holding three public forums in regional centres while consulting with Aboriginal communities to determine the impacted areas and identify weed threats to public amenity and biodiversity. These forums aim to increase participation in weed surveillance and response by Aboriginal communities and will also cover weed identification, prioritising weeds of concern, weed impacts on country, weed surveillance and weed threats to public amenity and biodiversity.

Some of the weeds of national significance that will be targeted include the African boxthorn and cacti, and this program will also assist in identifying other weeds impacting communities. I understand this project seeks to build capacity for Aboriginal land managers to manage weeds, in particular the weeds of national significance, which are subject to cross-jurisdictional management plans.

Managing weeds of national significance and aligning biosecurity outcomes to local community needs are priorities of Healthy Country plans, which are in place to help Aboriginal people look after their country. This project will support their delivery through provision of technical knowledge and expertise in on-ground management to Aboriginal land managers.

This program will be delivered through consultation, prioritisation and then analysis, including risk assessment, provision of science-based advice and training. I understand the first of these forums, in Port Augusta at the SA Arid Lands Landscape region, was held last week. A forum in Maitland for the Northern and Yorke region will be held on Tuesday 14 June, and Meningie will host the Murraylands and Riverland region forum on Tuesday 19 July.