Home' My Ballarat : October 2009 Contents Page 16
City of Ballarat Community Magazine October 2009
Fairy Grass is a native grass, which thrives in our present drought
conditions, and has caused understandable concern and inconvenience
to residents at lakes Learmonth, Burrumbeet and Wendouree during
After the proliferation of Fairy Grass during the 2007/08 summer, Council
and the Department of Sustainability established a Fairy Grass Working
Group to investigate methods of reducing and controlling fairy grass.
In 2008/09 the Council and the Department of Sustainability and
Environment put in place the following control measures:
• Program of aerial spraying with earlier timing than previous years and
lower concentration of glyphosate herbicide; and
• Continued monitoring of sites not receiving treatment to
• Program of aerial spraying (three progressive applications) with lower
concentration of glyphosate herbicide;
• Trial aerial seeding with barley and rye-corn to create competition
and tall standing crops to catch wind blown seed heads; and
• Trial sheep grazing of infested areas.
• Slashing of sites heavily infested with fairy grass; and
• Installation of mesh fencing to collect seed heads driven by the most
common prevailing winds.
The Fairy Grass Working Group conducted fortnightly inspections of each
of the lakes to ensure the effectiveness of spraying, grazing and slashing
operations could be maximised before the seed heads formed.
The findings and recommendations from the 2008/09 season were:
• The sheep grazing trial at Lake Burrumbeet proved very effective in
suppressing growth of the fairy grass and should be extended
• The other major grass present on Lake Learmonth (salt marsh grass)
has survived under the regime of early low dose herbicide application
and is now acting as competition to the fairy grass;
• Lake Wendouree's mesh fence was effective in catching dispersed
fairy grass heads during low wind conditions;
• The fortnightly inspection program at all lakes assisted in the
development of responsive actions;
• The slashing and mowing program of the Lake Wendouree foreshore
was an effective way of reducing the proliferation of fairy grass; and
• Providing residents with fact sheets assisted residents to reduce fairy
UPCOMING COMMUNITY MEETINGS
Council is committed to working with residents and state agencies to
continue to minimise the impacts of fairy grass. Local residents are
invited to attend the information sessions scheduled for late October and
early November about the controls planned for the 2009/10 summer
Lake Learmonth Fairy Grass Controls and Foreshore Regeneration Project
Learmonth Bowling Club, Monday 26 October, 6.30pm.
Lake Burrumbeet Fairy Grass Control Measures
Burrumbeet Hall, Tuesday 27 October, 6.30pm.
Lake Wendouree Fairy Grass Control Measures
Robert Clark Centre, Tuesday 10 November, 6.30pm.
For further information phone Council's Sustainability Support Officer
Anna McClelland on 5320 5131.
Below: Council's Parks and Waterways Coordinator Graeme Pike at Lake
Learmonth ahead of a controlled burn off last year.
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