How the Territory’s fight against Gamba is tracking
Gamba Grass Annual Report 2022 released
The Gamba Grass Annual Report 2022 was recently released. This report is a requirement of the Weed Management Plan for Gamba Grass 2020-2030. It includes feedback from the ‘Have your say’ gamba survey conducted last May that so many Gamba Grass Roots supporters like you participated in. This reporting happens because of your focus and is intended to demonstrate progress against implementation of the Gamba Plan from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.
The report found that while many of the performance indicators of the Gamba Management Plan were ‘on track’, a couple were identified as ‘progress but some concerns’, and sadly there were ‘significant concerns with progress’ in the “Reduction in area affected by gamba grass”. We acknowledge staff within the Weeds Branch have made significant ongoing efforts with gamba, complemented by the oversight and ongoing contributions of the Weeds Advisory Committee and the on-ground efforts of the Gamba Army. We are excited to see good progress in some areas, but it’s clear that there is much more work to be done.
The report found that:
- The “Reduction in area affected by gamba grass” performance indicator was not met. A baseline assessment of the area affected by gamba grass in the Class B zone was calculated as 4656km2 in the Gamba Grass Annual Report 2021. This is approximately 12% of the Class B zone. Using the same calculation method, an approximate area affected by gamba grass in the Class B zone as of 30 June 2022 is 4754km2. However, significant gamba grass control has been undertaken across the Class B zone over the reporting period, resulting in the local reduction of gamba grass across many areas, so there is hope!
- A record number of people utilised the Gamba Action Program (GAP) to claim free herbicide and/or borrow spray equipment. This highlights why it’s an important program but it’s clear the government’s funding for this program is not scaled to meet its own goals as stated in the Gamba Plan. If we are to hit the government’s stated goals and meet communities needs the current GAP project funding needs to be expanded.
- In the Darwin rural area, 1309 compliance inspections were undertaken by the Weed Management Branch. 40% of these properties were issued authorised officer orders, and of these 98% met their management requirements after being informed of non-compliance or showed significant progress towards compliance.
We were pleased to note that the efforts and commitments of supporters like you were mentioned in the report:
“Gamba Grass Roots is a community based group that has arisen from an alliance between The Pew Charitable Trusts and Environment Centre NT. Reflecting its community driven supporter base, Gamba Grass Roots has actively engaged with landholders and the general public, raising awareness and building the case for more action on gamba grass. Activities have ranged from: stalls at markets; developing educational materials to empower the public to express their voice; to advocacy efforts highlighting problems, solutions and recognising delivery. Community efforts are ongoing. This significant momentum has contributed to extra resources being made available from the NTG, along with commitments to further resources from the Federal Government. More information about the threats, solutions and actions is available at: Gamba Grass Roots”
Well done everyone! This shows that our oversight, comments, letters, and conversations are being heard and influencing decisions – leading to more gamba action that we can build upon.
Let’s keep at it – together.