Battle to control lantana

BUNDABERG Regional Council is leading the charge to eradicate lantana from the region.

To help landholders deal with lantana infestations, the council has bought a number of splatter guns which are available for hire at a nominal daily rate.

The splatter guns are fitted to a backpack for portable use.

For more scattered infestations, operators may choose to use the equipment on a quad bike or horse.

Lantana is considered one of Australia’s worst weeds because of its invasiveness, potential to spread, and the associated economic and environmental impacts.

It forms dense thickets, overtaking pastures and native vegetation, with some varieties also being toxic to stock.

Lantana has been declared a Class 3 pest plant in Queensland under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002, which requires the plant to be controlled where it threatens an environmentally sensitive area.

However, the control of lantana can be expensive and difficult to accomplish, and the best results are often achieved by using a combination of control techniques.

The most common control options are spraying with a registered herbicide, burning, slashing or physical removal.

Over recent years, the use of splatter guns for treating lantana has become increasingly popular, particularly when targeting the plant in steep terrain or in environmentally sensitive areas where only selective poisoning is required.

For more information or to hire a splatter gun, residents can contact a council land protection officer on 1300 883 699.

Creation combination

A COMBINED art exhibition by two local artists will open today at the Gin Gin Regional Courthouse Gallery.

Metamorphic Fabrics and Timbers of Oz was created by artists Robert Fry and Lyn Engstrom.

Mr Fry works with wood, and said he believed timber was “one of the most exciting media nature has given us to work with”.

He only works with timber that is destined to be burned, woodchipped or left to rot in paddocks.

He said he hoped those who looked at, or become owners of, his works agreed the end product was a much more preferable alternative.

Mrs Engstrom works with fabric and is a painter, colourist, designer, quilter and teacher.

She said what she did with fabric reminded her of the metamorphoses of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

She also conducts workshops from her Possum Hollow Craft Cottage in Gin Gin.

Admission to the exhibition, at 80a Mulgrave Street, is free and it can be viewed from 9am until 3pm Tuesday to Friday and from 9am until noon on Saturday.

The exhibition will end on February 26.

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