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Author Topic: Free car and caravan cleandown facilities stop weed seed spread  (Read 1692 times)

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Qld Fisheries, Editor

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Free car and caravan cleandown facilities stop weed seed spread             

News release | 12 November, 2010


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Enjoying the wilderness areas of northern and western Queensland, with their rugged outback tracks, ancient rainforests and gum-lined waterways is high on the list for many of Australia’s caravanners and mobile homers.

But with that enjoyment comes responsibility and visitors are asked to take a number of precautions to prevent the spread of weeds.

Weeds or pest plants are a major threat to the unique biodiversity and agricultural industries in these areas, and many species arrive in remote locations after hitching a ride on vehicles.

Known as weed seed spread, it has become one of the main methods for pest plants to be introduced to new areas, according to Biosecurity Queensland’s principal weeds officer in North Queensland Steve Matheson.

"Unfortunately, when getting off the beaten track sometimes visitors pick up and take with them some unwelcome hitchhikers," he said.

"Weed seeds can be caught under the chassis, in the wheels and tyres and a range of other little hiding places inside the cabins."

To help combat this threat, Blueprint for the Bush funding through the Pest Offensive is being used to erect new, and upgrade existing, cleandown facilities for vehicles along road corridors.

Mr Matheson said cleandown facilities were like carwashes, without the soap, that used high-pressure water on vehicles and often included vacuum facilities.

"There are car and truck cleandown facilities available - many of these are free of charge and all are located adjacent to roadsides," he said.

"Travelers can recognise them by clearly labeled road signs."

Charters Towers Regional Council, in northern Queensland, operates a cleandown facility at the junction of major highways linking the city with the southwest and west.

Council environmental officer Mic Langburne said visitors and locals alike were encouraged to use the facilities.

"Charters Towers is a town that links commercial transport and travelers with the outback areas of the south, west and north," Mr Langburne said.

"It’s because of this that we are very keen as a local government area to minimise weed seed spread.

"Our cleandown facilities are at the western entrance to town, behind our cattle saleyards, and consist of a free cleandown bay for cars and caravans, and two larger cleandown bays for trucks and road trains that can be operated for a small cost.

"We love having visitors in Charters Towers - but we don’t encourage visitors of the hitchhiking, plant pest variety.

"That’s why we have the cleandown facilities on our doorstep - it’s like wiping your feet on the doormat before coming into our house."

The new or improved cleandown facilities are located in a number of areas including Julia Creek, Roma, Wandoan, Gayndah, Mundubbera, Emerald, Burdekin Dry Tropics region, Gin Gin and Ilfracombe. 

A full list of vehicle cleandown facility locations can be found at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au

         

http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/30_19562.htm
           



 

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