Illawarra aerial spraying to attack bitou bush

Aerial spraying will take place over 160 hectares from Fairy Meadow to Gerringong this week to tackle infestations of one of Australia's worst noxious weeds.

The Illawarra District Noxious Weeds Authority will take to the skies to spray the herbicide Roundup over 85 hectares of bitou bush at Puckey's Estate and at the northern and southern ends of Port Kembla Beach.

Up to 50 hectares will be sprayed in Killalea State Park at Shellharbour, 15 hectares at Bass Point Reserve and about eight hectares will be sprayed on private property at Gerringong.

The authority's chief weeds officer, David Pomery, said aerial spraying was the only feasible method to control some of the heaviest and most inaccessible infestations.

"Applied during winter and at very low rates, the aerial application of Roundup selectively controls the bitou bush, leaving the native vegetation unharmed," Mr Pomery said.

He said spraying was necessary to control some of the most serious outbreaks of the yellow-flowered weed, which has infested about 80 per cent of the NSW coastline and extended 10 kilometres inland in some areas.

On the day of spraying, which could be Monday if weather is favourable, the authority will ensure people are cleared from the sprayed areas and all access roads and walkways are closed.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop