Rural landholder attitudes towards the responsibilities and action for managing declared weeds in Western Australia

Frank D'EmdenA, Gael BellB and Rick LlewellynA

A School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia.

B Department of Agriculture Western Australian, 444 Albany Hwy, Albany, Western Australia 6330, Australia.


Summary

If the role of government in weed management is reduced, the community will need to play a greater role in maintaining or improving the control of declared and invasive weeds. The main objective of this study was to identify barriers and opportunities for greater community investment in declared weed management. A phone survey of 200 landholders in the southwest of Western Australia was conducted to determine attitudes relating to declared and invasive weed management. The level of concern about the spread of both agricultural and environmental weeds was high. The majority applied several biosecurity measures on their property. State government officers provided a valued information source for landholders. Community-based catchment coordinators did not have a widely recognized role in delivering weed management information. Consistent with the public good aspects of invasive weed management, landholders expressed a perceived need and responsibility for government to provide an ongoing role in the control of declared weeds. Support for maintaining a declared plant list was almost unanimous. A high proportion of landholders expressed a willingness to report the presence of declared weeds, not only on their own property, but also on neighbouring properties. However, familiarity with the Declared Plant list for their region was limited. Overcoming this lack of familiarity may increase the potential role for the community in declared weed management.

 

Plant Protection Quarterly (2004) 19 (4) 147-150.