Local residents taking action on Gamba Grass crisis
Darwin rural area residents are launching a new community led response group to tackle the gamba grass infestation that is plaguing the Northern Territory
‘Protect Our Patch’ is being launched at a community BBQ in Darwin River this Sunday, where local landholders will talk about their successes in the fight against gamba and celebrate the work that Land For Wildlife Landholders have done to date.
WHAT: Community BBQ and launch of Protect Our Patch community action group
WHEN: Sunday 15 September
WHERE: 1025 Leonino Rd Darwin River (download directions here)
Event contact: Tiana Bremner 0418 907 689
“I’ve seen first-hand the enormous damage that can be caused by wildfires and weeds, and I just want to do what I can to mitigate against those issues,” said Protect Our Patch founder Therese Balanzategui.
“I love where I live – often spending hours wandering through the bush and enjoying the natural landscapes of this place. I hate the thought that future generations may inherit acres of destroyed land if gamba grass is allowed to take over.”
“This is about local residents working together to maintain the bush and retain important wildlife habitat. Territorians are responding to the threat of gamba and now is the time for the Northern Territory Government to make stopping its spread a priority, with proper funding to stop gamba in its tracks,” said Ms Balanzategui.
The joint event is being hosted by Darwin River landholder Liz Howells, who has worked on her block and with neighbours to turn the tide against gamba and wants to show others how it can be done.
“I’ve had to manage gamba on a few blocks in this area, and it worries me that we’re not seeing critical knowledge shared and passed on to benefit others,” said Liz Howells.
“Some of the gamba infestations in the area near my block posed a real fire hazard. For this reason, I spent years spraying gamba in the area with glyphosate, but stopped eventually due to concerns about the impact on the soil. I shifted to hand pulling the weeds, and cutting off seed heads to minimise spread, and quickly got it under control. That’s the sort of advice that I could have used at the start, and I’m keen to help others before their own problems get out of hand.”
“These landholders are showing that the fight against gamba can be won, this new community group is well positioned to work with their neighbours to protect wildlife and reduce the risk. However, what we need now is leadership from the Gunner Government, leadership that means prioritising gamba control efforts before lives are lost and our landscapes entirely transformed,” said Tiana Bremner from Gamba Grass Roots.
This event is supported by Land For Wildlife Top End and Gamba Grass Roots.