Petition to Will Hodgman, Minister for Parks & Wildlife Service
The golf course developer has had responsibility for managing Arm End Reserve since 2014 but has failed to stop the spread of boxthorn.
To The Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly in the Tasmanian Parliament assembled.
The petition of the under signed residents of Tasmania wishes to make the Members aware of a vicious thorny weed, boxthorn, that is taking over our beloved Gellibrand Nature Recreation Area, known locally as Arm End Reserve, and call on the state government to take urgent action to control it.
The Arm End Reserve:
- was created in 2011 after being purchased in the 1990s by the Crown;
- attracts a growing number of people, including locals, Hobart residents and tourists, to enjoy the magnificent views and to go walking, dog walking, cycling, swimming and picnicing;
- is rich in Aboriginal heritage.
Since 2013 Mary Ann Island Pty Ltd has had approval to construct a golf course and club rooms on Arm End Reserve and has held a lease since 2014. In over six years no work been done on the development and the weeds have been ignored until recently. For the first four years the proponent did no weed control in the reserve. From 2017 to 2019 the local Coastcare group removed all mature boneseed from the reserve. After lobbying by Coastcare in 2017-18 the leaseholder has sprayed localised weeds including gorse, broom and serrated tussock. But for six years only a token effort has been made to control boxthorn, the biggest weed threat. A handful of plants were cut down and left on site and some are now a hazard on the beaches. In the northern part of the reserve boxthorn now forms a near continuous thicket from Mary Ann Bay to Ralphs Bay.
Action by the state government to control boxthorn is urgently needed because:
- boxthorn is starting to be found on tracts and some areas will soon be unusable;
- there have been reports of cyclists puncturing tyres on the boxthorn;
- every year the boxthorn is left unchecked it will become more difficult and costly to control;
- the thousands of boxthorn plants are beyond the capacity of Coastcare volunteers.
Although there is a lease over the reserve the Minister for Parks and Wildlife Service Will Hodgman is ultimately responsible for managing the reserve and removing the boxthorn.
The petitioners call on Minister for Parks and Wildlife Service, Will Hodgman to take action by:
- Instructing the Parks and Wildlife Service to immediately commence boxthorn removal with the aim of having all younger plants removed by the end of June 2020;
- By June 2020 start implementing a control plan for all mature boxthorn while ensuring that removal does not negatively impact little penguin or cause erosion.