Not kidding around on weed control

A team of hungry goats has been deployed to eat through three hectares of invasive African OIive in the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan in a novel, environmentally friendly weed reduction trial, Environment Minister Mark Speakman announced today.

African Olives, Mount Annan Australian Botanic Garden

The 22 de-sexed goats have been delivered to the gardens under strict controls, and will be contained in a fenced grazing pasture under the watch of a full time goat handler during the four-week trial.

“To state the bleating obvious, African Olive is a serious issue in our parks and gardens, particularly at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan,” Mr Speakman said.

“These carefully managed goats are really locking horns with this invasive species and they’re expected to munch through up to three hectares of the weed in four weeks.

“It’s an innovative project, and it shows when it comes to weed control, the government is not kidding around.”

The African Olive, a dense-crowned tree, was introduced into Australia for horticulture in the mid 19th-century.

In recent decades the weed has invaded native bushland and created a dense, shady canopy that has excluded the growth of native under-storey plants.

It has become a particularly challenging problem at the Australian Botanic Garden and the surrounding Macarthur region.

While a spraying and clearing program has resulted in steady reduction of the weed, Mr Speakman said the Gardens were always looking for innovative solutions.

The trial started last week and will be completed within four weeks.

More information is available at The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan website.

Media: Stacy Farrar 0428 085 150