Construction weeds out invasive plants

Nationally, weeds cost more than $4 billion a year in lost agricultural production and control costs, as well as immeasurable damage to the environment.
The civil construction industry provides an example of an industry that has embraced DAFF’s National Weed Spread Prevention Initiative (NWSPI), which was first introduced in 2011 to reduce weed spread through early detection and rapid response by encouraging knowledge sharing and the adoption of nationally consistent approaches in weed management.. 
The Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) is the body representing civil engineering contractors. It has 2000 members Australia wide and represents a workforce of approximately 350,000 people.

Civil contractors work on a wide range of projects including the development and maintenance of roads, bridges, dams, wharves and commercial and housing developments.

Environmental field officer for the CCF, Wayne Huntley, said that civil construction activities often involve working in direct contact with soil, and therefore present a high risk of weed contamination and subsequent spread.

To address this, the CCF has developed an industry-wide guide for machinery hygiene that details methods for detecting and removing contaminant plant parts, seeds and soil from machinery.

?By adopting this guide and applying effective machinery hygiene methods, contractors help to reduce the spread of invasive plants,? said Huntley.

The Machinery Hygiene Guide and an online e-learning tool were developed in partnership with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI), with support from the Association of Land Development Engineers (ALDE), VicRoads, and Victoria?s Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE).

The DPI-CCF partnership worked to develop best practice methods of weed spread prevention (for both strategic and on-the-ground activities).

Project officer for the NWSPI, Dr Sheehan said that the guide provides just one example of the types of tools that can be developed to reduce weed spread.

The Guide for Machinery Hygiene for Civil Construction is available online.

Source: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend