Neem blitz to begin

NEEM BLITZ: Katherine landholder Danny Murphy (right) is a big supporter of the neem eradication program.
NEEM BLITZ: Katherine landholder Danny Murphy (right) is a big supporter of the neem eradication program.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources  and Territory Natural Resource Management today announced the start of the 2017 Neem Blitz program in Katherine.

DENR regional manager, Tahnee Thompson, said the blitz would help landholders:

  •   Identify neem and the best methods of control
  •   Understand neem risk to the natural environment
  •    Be part of the Katherine community effort to reduce Neem’s impact
  •    Meet their legislative requirements to control a Class B/C weed
  •    Obtain free herbicide

“Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a highly invasive exotic species that is a threat to our native plant species by competing for vital habitat and dominating riparian environments,” Ms Thompson said.

“Prevalence of neem in the Katherine township area is also of major concern due to its impact on biodiversity and aesthetic appeal of the town.

“That’s why it was declared a weed in 2014 to control its spread (Class B) and prevent its introduction into the Northern Territory (Class C).

“Free herbicide will help Katherine landholders target this pesky weed as part of a coordinated approach during the 2017-18 spray season, when neem is at its most vulnerable.”

Ms Thompson said the free herbicide would be available from 8am to noon at the program launch at Florina Road Store this Saturday, November 11.

She said the free herbicide would also be available this year at the Weeds Management Branch on Crawford Street from:

  • ·        1-4pm Friday, November 17.
  • ·        1-4pm Friday, November 24.
  • ·        1-4pm Friday, December 1.
  • ·        8am-noon Saturday, December 9.

Registration is required by calling 89738857 with further information also available by emailing weedinfo@nt.gov.au

“Control of neem on private properties will complement the ongoing efforts by Katherine Town Council and Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics to control neem on land it manages,” Ms Thompson said.

“This year’s blitz follows a 2015 program that showed the provision of herbicide was a highly effective way to encourage neem control on private land.”

Go to www.nt.gov.au/neem for more information about neem.