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    Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland
    The Honourable Tim Mulherin

    Plan to halt spread of rogue leucaena

    Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland
    The Honourable Tim Mulherin

    Thursday, June 04, 2009

    Plan to halt spread of rogue leucaena

    4 June 2009

    Plan to halt spread of rogue leucaena

    The Mackay Regional Pest Management Group is embarking on a campaign to halt the alarming spread of leucaena, a fodder plant that is invading creek banks, roadsides and mangrove margins.

    Member for Mackay Tim Mulherin said the plant had broken free from pastures and gone rogue and an eradication program was being developed.

    “The Mackay Regional Pest Management Group has received $20,000 from the Queensland Government’s Blueprint for the Bush initiative to fund a 12 month program to establish a leuecaena management plan,” he said.

    “Originally from Central America, the subspecies leucocephala is the predominant leucaena problem in our area but there are also other subspecies present.

    “Leucaena varieties like Peru, Cunningham and Taramba are widely grown by cattle producers as a high value leguminous pasture protein source.

    “Current estimates place Queensland’s commercial leucaena plantings at more than 200,000 hectares and there is a code of practice that all growers should follow.

    “Growers must manage leucaena to minimise seed production to avoid the environmental weed potential resulting from plant escapees outside the grazing paddock.

    “In our tropical coastal environment, leucaena has become an invasive weed so we have to map the leucaena sites and conduct control trials.

    Member for Whitsunday Jan Jarratt said leucaena was fast becoming a serious problem in the Shire.

    “Leucaena is a prolific seeding, large shrub capable of growing to medium tree size with significant weed potential.

    “The task ahead is to prevent further spread and begin an eradication program in the identified key areas in the Mackay-Whitsunday region,” she said.

    Biosecurity Queensland officer Corey Bell from Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries said more than 300 producers represented The Leucaena Network, which developed the Code of Practice to control the spread of the weed.

    “But we need public help,” Mr Bell said.

    “All members of the Mackay-Whitsunday community can help by telling the newly-formed Leucaena Management Working Group where the weed is growing uncontrolled or unmanaged.

    “We’ll be holding a workshop at the end of June, but in the meantime I’m urging all landholders and community-minded people to grab a notebook, map or a GPS to record where they have seen weed leucaena growing in the region,” he said.



    What: Leucaena Mapping Workshop
    When: Friday 26 June, 10am to 2pm
    Where: MRAEL Training Rooms, 5-7 Tennyson Street, Mackay.
    Stakeholders keen to be involved in the leucaena mapping workshop are asked to RSVP to Corey Bell on 4967 0647 or 0407 639 507 or email corey.bell@dpi.gov.au



    Media: Matt Watson 3239 3120