Targeted weed activity planned on Fortescue Catchment

Stakeholders gathered at Mardie Station in the Pilbara at the end of January to plan targeted activities to manage the thorny weeds Parkinsonia and Mesquite in the Fortescue Catchment.

The Planning Group examine some mesquite. L-R Nigel Wessels (DPaW), Valerie Albrecht (WACFRH), Kevin Kosmos (YACMAC), Jo Kuiper (PMMC), Alicia Whittington (DPaW), Shandell Raddock (YACMAC), and Richard Climas (Mardie Station). Credit Ian Cotton

Planning Group on Fortescue River, Mardie Station. L-R Alicia Whittington (DPaW) Jo Kuiper (PMMC) Valerie Albrecht (WA Centre for Rural Health – WACRH), Shandell Raddock (YACMAC), Kevin Kosmos (YACMAC) Ian Cotton(PCP) and Nigel Wessels (DPaW) – Credit Richard Climas, Mardie Station

Representatives attended from Mardie Station, CiticPacific Mining, Yaburara and Coastal Mardudhunera Aboriginal Corporation (YACMAC) Department of Parks and Wildlife, Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee (PMMC) and the Pilbara Corridors Project.

Pilbara Corridors Program Manager Ian Cotton said key to eradicating these weeds is a coordinated approach throughout the catchment and consideration of cultural and heritage values, threatened species, fire, pastoral and mining activities, and wider natural resource concerns.

Initially the ground work will be undertaken on along the Fortescue River at Yalleen and Mardie Stations.

“Contractors will focus on Mesquite areas while YACMAC Rangers will carry out Parkinsonia work,” Mr Cotton said.

“Chains and blade ripping by bulldozer will be used on Mesquite plants, with chemical spraying on both Mesquite and Parkinsonia, and the subsequent use of fire to burn the wood,” he said.

PMMC Project Manager Jo Kuiper said it was great to see most key stakeholders willing to put in extra effort to work towards a common goal to protect these various values.

“The collaborative approach to this new project and the support that the PMMC is receiving means that we can implement a well-informed program to achieve positive on-ground outcomes that is guided by a range of previous programs and experiences,” she said.

“On the day, even though two technical experts from Parks and Wildlife were deployed to the Waroona fire ground and duly couldn’t make it, they visited Mardie with myself the week after and provided more valuable technical advice based on their experience with similar projects.”

Parkinsonia on Fortescue River, Mardie Station - Credit Ian Cotton

Parkinsonia on Fortescue River, Mardie Station – Credit Ian Cotton

Indigenous Ranger Coordinator from YACMAC, Shandell Raddock was in attendance.

“The key point for us is that this activity is investing in stakeholder relationships between indigenous groups and land managers, from the ground level,” Ms Raddock said.