Weeds take over north-east rail corridor
17 December 2020
The Andrews Government is failing to control invasive weeds flourishing along the north-east rail corridor and allowing them to spread into neighbouring properties.
Member for Euroa and Nationals deputy leader, Steph Ryan said management of weed control along the corridor, which extends from Wandong to Broadford, had been neglected by the government for more than a decade, with local landholders now at their wits’ end.
Moving a motion in Parliament last week, Ms Ryan condemned the Andrews Government for failing to comply with the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 which requires landowners to manage declared noxious weeds.
“Landholders along the north-east corridor are fed up with the Andrews Government’s neglect of weed control,” Ms Ryan said.
“The government is failing to comply with its own legislation, which requires all landholders to manage declared noxious weeds, including blackberry, gorse and St John’s Wort.
“Landholders are sick to death of trying to control weeds while the government abrogates its responsibilities.”
Ms Ryan met this week with Broadford landholder Paul Fleming, who has been calling on the government to tend to the corridor’s expanding ribbon of weeds at his Kilmore East but says his requests are falling on deaf ears.
“I have been corresponding with rail managers, V/Line, and various state government departments regarding the expanding ribbon of weeds spreading along the north-east rail corridor since 1999,” Mr Fleming said.
“The State Government is displaying an unusual appetite for spending huge amounts of money on city-centric infrastructure projects while failing to adequately fund the likes of Local Government, DELWP and VicRoads as they struggle to control serious weed infestations on public lands and thoroughfares,” Mr Fleming said.
Ms Ryan said that just as private landholders have a responsibility to manage their land, the Andrews Government must ensure they practice what they preach.
“The Public Transport Minister must take responsibility for his department urgently address the disgraceful neglect of weed control along the north-east rail corridor.”
Photo caption: The Nationals Member for Euroa Steph Ryan with Bruce Nicholls and Paul Fleming with out of control weeds along Dry Creek Rd