There are more than 3000 naturalised plants in Australia – a number that grows annually. Given the scale of the problem a range of weed policies has been developed to assist and target management. But how do these policies align with the actual management and research being undertaken? For example, in recent years weed policy has significantly focused on early detection and eradication of new weed species, based on the cost-benefit outcomes of early intervention. Whilst this argument is sound both economically and strategically, has such a policy focus led to large numbers of weed eradication programs being undertaken and reported on? Alternatively how has the Weeds of National Significance initiative (WoNS) and broader actions under the National Weeds Strategy for established widespread weeds influenced policy and on-ground management? Here I present an initial evaluation of these questions, based on a review of the papers published over a 10 year period in the proceedings of the Australian Weeds Conferences and the Australian journal Plant Protection Quarterly. The majority of papers covered established widespread weed species, of which the vast majority focused on their management, control and/or research. Few papers covered topics associated with prevention, eradication or containment of new species, of which a similar percentage (8%) focused on their management, control and/or research. Of papers that contained weed policy, about one-third focused on widespread species and less than 20% on prevention, containment or eradication. These results highlight a potential mismatch between weed management aims and weed policy objectives, in that many weed programs are addressing established widespread weed species and not new incursions.
|Title of host publication||AWC Proceedings : 17th Australasian Weeds Conference|
|Place of Publication||New Zealand|
|Publisher||New Zealand Plant Protection Society|
|Number of pages||2|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|Event||17th Australasian Weeds Conference: New Frontiers in New Zealand - Christchurch, New Zealand|
Duration: 26 Sep 2010 → 30 Sep 2010
|Conference||17th Australasian Weeds Conference: New Frontiers in New Zealand|
|Period||26/09/10 → 30/09/10|
Downey, P. (2010). Do the aims of weed management programs align with the objectives of weed policy? In AWC Proceedings : 17th Australasian Weeds Conference (pp. 85-86). New Zealand: New Zealand Plant Protection Society.