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High threat weed control – coastal galenia

The environmental weed Galenia pubescens (coastal galenia) was confirmed by North Barker along the Brooker Highway at several locations in 2020 during natural values assessment surveys. NBES noted that Galenia pubescens is considered to be a relatively novel Tasmanian weed, with almost all known Tasmanian mainland observations (at the time of writing) reported from the vicinity of the Brooker Highway between Lutana and Granton. Given that the weed is deemed highly invasive, with a history of spreading along major arterial roads on mainland Australia (where it forms dense mats that effectively exclude all other plants), nearby projects were considered to represent a very high risk of spreading Galenia into new areas (with the highway locations representing a potential transport vector for contractors during works, as well as everyday commuters), in addition to creating habitat for colonisation post-works within the works footprints. Eradication of the entire local population of Galenia was considered to be the best way to reduce the likelihood of the project resulting in the spread or proliferation of the species. Based on this, NBES were engaged to undertake targeted control of known occurrences and an extension survey for new occurrences. Early indications are that the control measures undertaken in early 2021 are having good effectiveness, but follow-up treatments and surveys can be expected to be required for regrowth and recolonisation. It is hoped with vigilance the infestation will be eradicated over the next few years.