Upper Catchment Weed Control East Of Smoky Cape

An 18 month (Dec 07 - Jun 09), $17 600 grant through the Australian Government Envirofund (project id: 65019). The purpose of this project was to "stabilise the drainage lines on the eastern side of Smoky Cape from the lighthouse to the northern end of Gap Beach."

The only activity undertaken was bush regeneration by weed removal. Targetted weeds were bitou, lantana, senna and white passionvine. Funding was used to employ contractors to provide primary work.

A major success was the widespread removal of weeds from 8 gullies (working from Smoky Cape Lighthouse towards Gap Beach). This will complement bush regeneration work that has already occurred and is ongoing downstream of the work areas.

Challenges included the steep terrain and the fact that several gullies opened into bigger than anticipated areas when fully explored. The two most northerly drainage lines (at the north end of Gap Beach) were considered to be too big and too badly weed infested for the scope of this grant; the areas have been “stable” for at least 15 years in that the weeds are not spreading into the surrounding indigenous vegetation; our group therefore decided to concentrate on less affected areas which could be more successfully regenerated. This area is now included in a proposal for which DECC recently received funding under Caring for our Country.

The upper catchment of the 8 gullies have been stabilised. However, two of the drainage lines were found to have weed “deltas” in the lower catchment; these areas are not adjacent to the frontal dunes, previously treated, but have the potential to be a reservoir of weed seed propagules. Our group will monitor and treat these areas as funding and time become available.