Friends of Greenmount fears Watsonia overtaking national parks


Colin Hughes on the weed warpath with grandson Manny Rodriguez in native bushland invaded by Watsonia. Picture: Bruce Hunt d474441
Colin Hughes on the weed warpath with grandson Manny Rodriguez in native bushland invaded by Watsonia. Picture: Bruce Hunt d474441

FRIENDS of Greenmount are growing weary struggling uphill with backpacks laden with weedkiller to preserve creeks and high ground from an invasive pest they say is destroying their national park and creating a fire risk.

Colin Hughes said the group wants Midland MLA Michelle Roberts to put pressure on the Department of Conservation and Land Management to start spraying where they left off after the politician’s previous intervention.

“Two years ago, Michelle Roberts was instrumental in getting some funding for Watsonia control in Greenmount National Park,” he said.

“Thanks to Liberal cuts in the conservation budget, national parks have just $4000 for weed control in John Forrest and Greenmount national parks.”

He said the new State Government was unable to restore the budget in time for this year’s spraying program.

“The area used to be one of the most beautiful parks for wildflowers,” he said.

Mr Hughes sprays the Watsonia about twice a week with 10 litres of weedkiller and is able to clear about an acre at a time.

“What we need is a contractor to spray about 500 gallons of weedkiller at the top of the hill for three consecutive years to eradicate the weed,” he said.

The retired doctor said Australian national parks were the best filter for diesel and car fumes and decrease allergens and disease.

“National Parks are nature’s filter for urban pollution and must be preserved for our children’s future. It’s time to get our funding priorities in the right order,” he said.

Ms Roberts was contacted for comment.

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