MEDIA RELEASE: Gamba Army Hits Targets
The deployment of the first round of the ‘Gamba Army’, operated by Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM), has been a great success.
Over the past two weeks, areas in the Casuarina Coastal Reserve and Charles Darwin National Park have been targeted during pre-Christmas weed spraying. TNRM’s Rowena Eastick, who is coordinating the Gamba Army, said the outcome of the initial spraying is already evident with large patches of dying Gamba grass amidst native vegetation in both parks.
“Our team members, who are working on a flexible basis around rainfall and site logistics, have rapidly developed capacity in plant identification and effective Gamba grass spraying expertise. A number of them have even been approached by local companies with offers of ongoing employment. That’s a great result at such an early stage of the Gamba Army – more local jobs.
“A major outcome has been the cross-land-tenure coordination of weed mitigation, especially for the upcoming areas to be targeted around Royal Darwin Hospital and north and west of Muirhead. This involved liaison with Defence Housing Australia and their Lee Point landscape architects Clouston Associates, contractors, and NT Parks and Wildlife – a welcomed level of cooperation critical to getting the most benefit from the Gamba Army efforts,” Ms Eastick said.
TNRM also congratulated the Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare Group on their great work, with support from NT Parks and Wildlife and the Weed Management Branch, in conducting a Gamba grass survey over three weekends prior to the Gamba Army deployment to help inform change in Gamba grass infestation.
TNRM is a not-for-profit organisation that has been engaged by the NT Government to run the $500,000 Gamba Army project to protect biodiversity and high use community and recreational areas, and to complement existing weed control efforts.
Procurement of spray equipment, herbicide, signage and safety gear for the project has supported local businesses and TNRM has established a register of preferred weed spraying contractors who will complement the activities of the Gamba Army, adding to the number of jobs and local businesses to benefit from the initiative.
“With the on-ground results of the spraying activities already evident, we anticipate further success of the Gamba Army,” Ms Eastick said.