Integrated Cross Tenure and Cross Border Box Thorn Removal Program

Integrated Cross Tenure and Cross Border Box Thorn Removal Program


The issue

African Boxthorn is a Weed of National Significance and poses a significant threat to the ecological health of floodplains. Landholders were proactive at aggregating neighbouring properties to address a major local weed incursion issue.

The solution

Western Murray Land Improvement Group was contacted for support and formed a working group with other local and regional authorities to develop a detailed project plan for a funding submission to the Murray Darling Healthy Rivers Program, which was successful. This project will target 4,200Ha of Boxthorn infestations on both sides of the Murray River. To achieve this, our organisation, along with Landcare, local and regional government authorities and specialist contractors, will work closely with private landholders with severe infestations to provide education and technical support as well as project management oversight needed to coordinate the complexity of multiple land tenure Boxhorn control activities. Due to the collaborative nature of this project, landholders will be able to draw on the in-kind knowledge and skills of our partner groups and organisations, such a Murray River Council, Murray Local Land Services, and North Central CMA. In-kind support in the form of follow up chemical spraying in following years will be expected by landholders as well as burning box thorn that have been physically removed. Landholders are to put ‘’skin in the game’’ by co-contributing 15% of costs. This ensures property owners are personally and economically invested for a positive long-term outcome.

The impact

This is a pilot project to showcase what can be achieved by community driven process for future focus area activities. This project promotes cross-tenure and cross-government partnerships in delivery of regional weed strategies, community education and significant employment and economic stimulus to the region. There is an opportunity to showcase a new locally manufactured box thorn remover, fabricated by Farmor Engineering in Barham, so field days could leverage local product sales and additional local employment as a result of the project. Four field days will give community members the opportunity to see Boxthorn removal in action and learn about the methods and equipment used. Take-home resources such as brochures and weed information booklets will also be handed out to participants to facilitate future learning and weed control actions.

Key facts

  • Control of over 4,200 Ha of African Boxthorn which is a Weed of National Significance.
  • Reduce the impacts of this noxious weed on floodplain ecology and agricultural land.
  • Aligns to the Murray Biodiversity Management Plan which states that wetlands / forested wetlands require high to very high priority investment for active management.
  • Promotes cross-tenure and cross-government partnerships in delivery of regional weed strategies.
  • Promote education and information (e.g. websites).
  • Supports local product manufacturing and service industries.
  • Four field days planned.
  • Due to start Winter 2023 with completion due 2024.

Project Partners