Monday, 8 February 2016
Statements by Members
I recently had the great pleasure to make an announcement with the Hon. Greg Hunt of a further $200,000 for extended research into biological controls for wandering trad. For those who do not know, wandering trad is a very noxious weed which covers many creeks and properties throughout the Dandenong Ranges. It is also in Queensland and New South Wales. I was very proud that we funded phase 1 of this program. I must congratulate our fantastic scientists at the CSIRO—Dr Andy Sheppard and Dr Louise Morin—and also local people such as Glenn Brooks-McMillan from CWAD and Bill Incoll from the local landcare groups. This is fantastic news and I thank the minister very much for phase 2.
I visited the CSIRO to see firsthand the fantastic work they are doing there with a pathogen, which is really having a great impact on destroying the wandering trad. I look forward to phase 2 being completed. I understand that at La Trobe University, Melbourne, the scientists there are working on beetles, which also attack this weed. It is great news that phase 2 is being funded. The final phase, once we have completed all our research, will be the actual release. It will be fantastic news for the Dandenong Ranges.