Member for Burnett Rob Messenger in a paddock with the introduced pest giant rat’s tail grass.
Member for Burnett Rob Messenger in a paddock with the introduced pest giant rat’s tail grass. SUBMITTED

Stamp out giant rat's tail grass

IT’S the curse of pastoralists in many parts of Queensland – but perhaps worst for those on The Discovery Coast.

Giant rat’s tail grass (GRT) or Sporobolus pyramidalis (or natalensis), is an exotic grass that is choking pastures and costing farmers and the government millions of dollars.

It is believed the African grass was brought in accidentally, mixed up with improved pasture seed introduced into farms on The Discovery Coast in the early 1960s. And now it is running rampant, clogging good pasture and spreading like wildfire.

Discovery Coast farmer Trevor Dawson said GRT had almost completely taken over some of his paddocks and over the years had cost him up to half a million dollars.

“This is a really bad area for it (GRT). It is a P2 declared pest and we are supposed to get rid of it off our properties,” Mr Dawson said.

“We use a number of herbicides – but it just keeps coming back.”

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger said GRT had caused an environmental, social and economic crisis in the Wide Bay-Burnett as well as the original sources on The Discovery Coast.

“It’s now time for the LNP and ALP to get together and agree to a solution to this dangerous, introduced, noxious foreign weed,” he said.



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