DPI fines 13 West Gippsland landholders over ragwort control
Baw Baw News
By William PJ Kulich // 17:06, Monday 27 February 2012
The Department of Primary Industry (DPI) has fined 13 landholders from seven West Gippsland properties for failing to meet directions notices requiring they control the weed ragwort on their land.
The fines of over $5,800 were issued after a follow-up inspection by the DPI to 14 properties which were found to not be responsibly managing the weed. 21 directions notices were issued at the previous inspection.
Ragwort is an invasive weed which is poisonous to crazing cattle both fresh and when dried in fodder. It causes liver damage, can produce tainted milk and according to the DPI is of a particular concern in the Mountain View, Poowong, Loch, Nyora and Wonthaggi areas.
Biosecurity Officer for the DPI Gerry O’Keeffe said in a media release today the fines were being used to protect the interests of these communities.
“All community members need to do their bit to help control ragwort. DPI will bring landowners to account if their inaction threatens the effectiveness of weed control efforts of the wider community,” Mr O’Keeffee said.
“We have a clear message from the Triholm, Poowong and Loch/Nyora Landcare groups, strongly supported by the Baw Baw and South Gippsland shire councils, that they want DPI to enforce action on priority species such as ragwort and bolster the community-led efforts.”
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