TCT re-establishes Tasmanian Weed Alert Network

The Tasmanian Conservation Trust received $86,471 from the Tasmanian Community Fund to re-establish the Tasmanian Weed Alert Network in 2009 to 2011In July Jonah Gouldthrope was recruited to manage this process and will work on a part-time basis to build the Network back up to active status.

Weed stakeholders will be familiar with me as previous project manager for the Southern Tasmanian Weed Strategy and author of the gorse and athel pine national best practice management manuals. I have now settled in to life at the TCT and have begun planning and delivering the new Weed Alert Network project.

As part of the plan for re-establishing the Network, I have interviewed a representative sample of people who were involved the first time around, from 1999 to 2001. Almost all members of the ‘old’ Network said that being involved was a positive experience and that they would do it again. Many indicated that some formal induction, a high level of training in weed recognition, and personal contact, were important to them as members of a Weed Alert Network.

Establishing a permanent, self-sustaining Weed Alert Network, with only two years of funding to work with, is a big ask. What makes the TCT confident that it can succeed?

The rate of internet connection for Australian households has tripled since the Weed Alert Network was established in 1999. Many people who did not use computers then are confident email and internet users today. This makes it easier and cheaper to keep in touch with Network members. The ease and quality of digital photography now makes it possible to supply high-quality photos and weed identification material over the internet too.  

Weed Alert Networks, inspired by Tasmania’s pioneering attempt, have been established (and maintained) in Queensland and Victoria. Their experiences have a lot to offer us as we try for a second time to get a sustainable Weed Alert Network up and running.

The TCT has worked hard to involve a range of partner organisations in this project: the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Tasmanian Herbarium and Tasmanian Weed Society. Each of these groups has committed to supporting the project through its first two years. By building the Network’s extension material, weed detection and reporting processes into their day-to-day business they can do a lot to help it survive beyond 2011.

For more information please contact Jonah Gouldthorpe

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
6234 3552 or 0410 059 027