Community stories: 6 April 2015
Following the devastating flood that ripped through the Lockyer Valley in 2011, the Lockyer Valley Regional Council established an FRRR Regional Donation Account as a fundraising avenue to address a number of community priorities as the recovery process began.
It didn’t take long for the Regional Donation Account to have a rather healthy balance, thanks to donations made from local businesses, community members and access to philanthropic grants, and the benefits to the community have been immense. One project in particular that has been funded from the Donation Account has been a targeted weed eradication program to preserve farming and grazing land. The seeds of weeds washed down in floodwaters has triggered an infestation throughout the Lockyer Valley, particularly of the declared Parthenium weed.
Donation Account funds community projects
Under the Land Protection Act (2002) landowners are required to control pest animals and plants on their property. Most control methods for pest plants employ the use of spray equipment. The LVRC recognised that not all landholders have ownership of herbicide spray equipment and established the Community Herbicide Spray Equipment Program to assist landowners to eradicate declared weeds.
Funds from the Donation Account have been used for the purchase of herbicide chemical and the construction of three purpose built weed spray trailers, which landholders are now able to borrow (free of charge, with a bond) to assist in the control of weeds on their properties.
Practical support invaluable as community continues recovery
This type of practical support to assist landholders with the large task of weed management is aiding struggling communities to focus upon further tasks within the huge, costly and demanding task of rebuilding following the 2010/2011 flood event. It takes up to 10 years for communities to recovery from a natural disaster – the weed project fours years on is testament to the marathon efforts of the Lockyer Valley community.