The final inspection at Devil Creek Gas Plant facility with (L-R) Nic Sillem (Astron), Paul Whiteaker (Quadrant Energy) and Melissa Weybury (Astron).
The declared pest Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus) has been successfully eradicated from a known site in Karratha.
The weed was initially detected by environmental technicians from Astron Environmental Services whilst conducting routine weed control at the Devil Creek Gas Plant facility in 2011.
“Our environmental technicians immediately reported and treated the pest species and the site was demarcated to prevent potential spread of reproductive material and treated with a pre-emergent herbicide,” said Bernard McLean, Rehabilitation Manager at Astron Environmental Services.
“A four year monitoring and inspection program was then implemented in accordance with the Parthenium weed management plan, which has resulted in the eradication of Parthenium from this location, which is a significant environmental outcome.”
Parthenium weed is a Weed of National Significance and a declared plant under Western Australian legislation, requiring active management to prevent environmental, social or economic impacts.
“It can cause serious human health problems and is a major weed of rangelands and cropping areas of Queensland. The treatment of the plants found and continued surveillance has been given high priority to ensure these impacts do not become present in WA,” said Kay Bailey, Manager of Invasive Species Priority Weed Response at DAFWA.
“Astron and Quadrant Energy are to be commended on their commitment towards eradication of this pest. This is an excellent example of government and industry working together in partnership to respond to biosecurity threats."
A final inspection was undertaken in late October 2015 at the Devil Creek Gas Plant facility, approximately 50km from Karratha, which concluded the successful eradication program.
“No individuals have been found since the initial treatment despite dedicated searches,” said Nic Sillem, Environmental Technician at Astron Environmental Services.
Mr Sillem was part of the team that first detected the Parthenium weed and has been involved in its management since.
Quadrant and Astron have continued a diligent inspection program for the past four years, including quarterly inspections and application of pre-emergent herbicide, in collaboration with the Department of Food and Agriculture WA.
DAFWA developed the Management Plan for Parthenium hysterophorus to outline the actions required for the effective management of Parthenium weed in WA.
If you see a potential pest species or an unusual plant that looks out of place, contact DAFWA’s Pest and Disease Information Service on Freecall 1800 084 881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.