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Managing the risk of wilding Tasmanian blue gums on Kangaroo Island – proposed changes to legislation

Wild germination of Tasmanian blue gums (Eucalyptus globulus subsp. globulus) on Kangaroo Island is having a major impact on the area’s unique habitat, prompting a proposal to make wildling Tasmanian blue gums a declared species under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019.

Tasmanian blue gums have been widely planted for timber production on former farmland on Kangaroo Island. As a consequence of the 2019/20 bushfires there has been extensive germination of Tasmanian blue gum seedlings or ‘wildlings’ on cleared land, in native vegetation along road reserves and in regenerating native vegetation on private land and in parks adjacent to plantations.

It is estimated that at least 3,500 ha of bushland has been infested with these wildlings and there is a short window of opportunity to destroy these before they start producing seed in 2024/25. If left uncontrolled, they will have a significant impact on the region’s biodiversity values, alter fire risk and potentially impact on water resources and farmland.

To date, almost $1 million of Australian and South Australian Government funding has been committed to the control of Tasmanian blue gum wildlings across a range of land tenures by community, non-government organisations and government organisations.

The Kangaroo Island Landscape Board and State Government will continue to support this work, and the proposed changes would make it easier for the Board to work with landholders to control blue gums in high priority areas.

The proposed legislative changes would apply only to wildling Tasmanian blue gums. These changes will not affect Tasmanian blue gums planted and maintained for domestic, public amenity or commercial purposes.

Consultation

Consultation on the proposed changes will take place from 23 December 2021 to 13 January 2022. We are inviting feedback on the proposed changes from individuals and industry representatives.

Proposed changes to legislation

The proposed changes can be seen in red text in this excerpt from the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 List of Declared Plants.

Managing the risk of wilding Tasmanian blue gums on Kangaroo Island – proposed changes to legislation

The relevant provisions of the Act are as follows:

  • 192(2) — Landowners to control Tasmanian blue gum wildlings on their properties
  • 194 — Board may recover costs of control on adjoining road reserves

Feedback on the proposed changes will be accepted by phone, email, or letter.

Have your say

Please direct all questions and feedback to:

David Cooke

Senior Biosecurity Advisor, Weeds
Invasive Species Unit, Biosecurity Division
Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA)

Phone: (08) 8429 0825
Email: David.Cooke@sa.gov.au
Mail: Invasive Species Unit, PIRSA,
GPO Box 1671
Adelaide 5001