ragwort_monoSome of the ragwort and thistles that are now dropping their seeds in the Korumburra Reservoir (Bell View).

READERS of the Sentinel-Times continued to report instances of ragwort this week, further displaying the magnitude of the problem in South Gippsland. .
A reader, who did not want to be named, is annoyed by the lack of maintenance at a farm on Bena-Kongwak Road in the Krowera/Kongwak area.
The farm features a “quadrella” of noxious weeds, including ragwort, blackberry bushes, thistles and hawthorn weeds.
The man has called for a minister to take control of the situation.
“Sometime in the 1860s there was a thing called the thistle act, where if families didn’t sort their thistles they would be brought before a magistrate and fined,” he said.
“It’s 0.5 per cent of the properties that are creating the work for the others. They might look alright from the road, but hidden from view is the real problem.
“What we would like is for some authority, state or local, to give a notice to the properties that have too much ragwort, thistles or blackberries.
“It should be the same as fire hazard notices – if you don’t get the weeds cleared, the shire will charge you extra on your rates to have a contractor come out, plus an administration fee because the rest of the ratepayers shouldn’t have to pay the costs for the 0.5 per cent who aren’t doing the right thing.”
Farmers who are in control say they have found that if weeds are kept in check, the removal of weeds such as ragwort would account for one day’s work a year.
Noxious weeds can be spread as easily as seeds blowing in the wind; meaning neighbouring properties to those who are not effectively removing ragwort are open to the spread of the weeds onto their property.
The concerned farmer said if everyone did their bit, the incidence of weeds would be dramatically reduced.
“If everyone did it they would only have to do it for half a day. If there are not seed blowing in, there’s no spread of weeds,” he said.
“Herbicide companies are the only people benefiting from the situation at the moment.
“A blackberry bush can produce thousands of seeds and birds can fly a long way and foxes can travel a distance.
“Ragwort thistles are very light and can travel huge distances in the wind.
“I’ve got enough work to do without doing other peoples weeds and the 99.5 per cent of the farmers who are on top of them would agree.”
Another reader suggested with a contributed photo that rogue landowners were not the only offenders.
A photo featuring ragwort at the Bell View Reservoir near Korumburra would suggest South Gippsland Water has some work to do.