Local News

2019 Gamba Action Program Launched

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources today launched the 2019 Gamba Action Program (GAP) in Darwin and Katherine.

Weed Management Branch Compliance Manager, Roni Opden said Top End landholders can obtain education, advice, free herbicide allocations and spray equipment loans from:

  • Freds Pass Sport and Recreation Reserve, Bees Creek – 0427 272 586
  • Katherine Weed Management Depot – 8973 8857
  • Bushfires NT, Batchelor – 8976 0098
  • Territory Wildlife Park, Berry Springs – 0401 114 912
  • Milne Volunteer Bushfire Brigade – 8977 9041
  • Dundee Beach – 8978 2107
  • Wagait Shire Council – 8978 5185
  • Marrakai Volunteer Bushfire Brigade - 0429 609 979

Ms Opden said the Gamba Action Program has been running since 2010, to help landholders manage gamba on their properties and comply with the Weeds Management Act.

“This year’s Program will continue the positive progress made last year that resulted in more than 3000 residents receiving direct assistance in some form through GAP, including 2200 who were provided with a total of 18,000 litres of herbicide, Ms Opden said.

“It is pleasing to see so many landholders making the most of the free herbicide allocation and spray equipment loans, with a noticeable reduction of gamba in the greater Darwin region.

“However, there remains a significant cohort placing themselves and others at risk of dry season wildfires, fuelled by unmanaged gamba grass.

“That’s why we will continue our targeted inspections of specific areas and will take action to ensure landholders meet their gamba management obligations, should the need arise.

“Gamba not only presents a huge fire risk in the dry season but outcompetes native grasses and diminishes habitat that many of our Top End wildlife call home.”

Aerial surveys undertaken in recent years give valuable insight into the location of gamba grass in Darwin’s rural area and also show obvious patterns of spread radiating from critically affected areas within the Zone B management zone*.

“The best time to treat gamba with herbicide is during the wet season, while the grass is between knee and hip height,” Ms Opden said.

“This is why we have timed the release of free herbicide and equipment loans with the onset of the wet season.”

Go to www.nt.gov.au/gamba for more information about the free herbicide and equipment loans available through GAP.