Who are Weed Spotters?
Weed Spotters assist the Victorian Government by looking out for and reporting State prohibited weeds.
Weed Spotters are individuals with an interest in plants including gardeners, contractors, consultants, horticulturalists, local government staff, and other agency staff including Parks Victoria, Catchment Management Authorities, DSE and DPI.
There are a range of training activities and publications available to Weed Spotters to assist them to identify State prohibited weeds. Training includes weed identification, distinguishing characteristics of the target weeds and how to make a State prohibited weed report. Publications include a manual, weed cards and subscription to the Weed Spotter newsletter.
The information gathered by Weed Spotters helps to locate new infestations of State prohibited weeds and assist in their management.
Where to look for new weeds?
Weed Spotters can look for State prohibited weed species in a wide variety of environments including natural areas, farming areas, roadsides, cemeteries, car parks, waste places and urban fringes, gardens, restaurants, rivers and creeks, wetlands or home gardens. They may also be found for sale in nurseries, garden centres, markets, catalogues, in the media or on the internet.
Which weeds to look for?
Weed Spotters are only being asked to look for and report State prohibited weeds.
This does not include common and wide spread weeds like Paterson’s Curse, Blackberry, Ragwort, Serrated Tussock, Gorse or St John’s Wort, even if they are new to one part of the State and common in others. Weed Spotters are only being asked to report State prohibited.
What do Weed Spotters do?
|Weed Spotter collecting a plant specimen in the field|
Weed Spotters are asked to be observant during their day-to-day activities and look out for State prohibited weeds.
What happens if a new weed is found?
- Weed Spotter reports plant to DPI by utilising the online report tool or calling 136 186.
- Weed Spotter will be kept informed of the status of their report throughout the process
DPI are not asking Weed Spotters to become involved in the on-ground management of these weeds, however Weed Spotters do play a valuable role in informing DPI on the location of State prohibited weeds.
Want to become a Weed Spotter?
If you would like to register to become a Weed Spotter contact the DPI Customer Service Centre on 136 186 and provide your name, postal address, daytime phone number and email address.
Take a look at upcoming Weed Spotter Training and Events
The personal information you provide will be used by the DPI in accordance with the principles of the Information Privacy Act 2000 to distribute information and publicise events in relation to the Weed Spotter network. Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other organisation, unless authorised by law. If you wish to access information held about you or have any other enquires about this project please contact your local Weed Alert Contact Officer via the DPI Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
How can I give feedback on Weed Spotters?
We are always pleased to receive feedback from our Weed Spotters on all aspects of the network including training sessions, newsletters, our response to your weed reports or any other feedback that you may have.
To provide us with your feedback please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weed Spotter Case Study
Weed Spotters is a weed surveillance network of people trained to look for and report any high-risk invasive plant species entering Victoria. They also play an important role in monitoring and recording the distribution of plant species that threaten public assets.
DPI provides training and support to Weed Spotters so they have the knowledge and resources to undertake weed surveillance effectively. These are individuals who are in a good position to monitor the main pathways for new weeds to enter the state, and have the skills to identify targeted invasive plant species.
Weed Spotters are recruited from community, industry and agency affiliations. This includes local government and other land management agencies, community groups such as garden clubs, the horticulture industry and education institutions.
The current count has 3,000 registered Weed Spotters, and numbers continue to grow. This network represents a collaborative force between DPI, industry and community working together to protect Victoria’s biosecurity and the sustainability of farms, industries and rural communities.
Weed Spotters recently surveyed over 3,000 hectares to detect new infestations of hawkweed, a State Prohibited Weed. In New Zealand more than six million hectares is infested with hawkweed, a potentially extremely serious weed for pastures and biodiversity across south-eastern Australia.
DPI with community groups, government agencies (Department of Sustainability and Environment, and Parks Victoria) and industry.
For more information about Weed Spotters please email email@example.com or call (03) 9217 4404