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Broadford landholder Paul Fleming, who has a property at Kilmore East, met with state member for Euroa Steph Ryan before Christmas to explain his long-term issues with the lack of work done by the state government.
“I have been corresponding with the rail managers, V/Line, and various state government departments regarding the expanding ribbon of weeds spreading along the north-east rail corridor since 1999,” Mr Fleming said.
“By and large my calls for a response to comply with the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 have fallen on deaf ears, and to this day blackberry, gorse and St Johns wort continue to flourish along the corridor from Wandong to Broadford and beyond, spreading into adjoining private land and placing a huge strain on affected landholders to battle the invasion of their properties.
“The state government is displaying an unusual appetite for spending huge amounts of money on city-centric infrastructure projects while failing to adequately fund the likes of local government, DELWP and VicRoads as they struggle to control serious weed infestations on public land and thoroughfares.”
Ms Ryan said that just as private landholders have a responsibility to manage their land, the state government must ensure it practiced what it preached.
“Landholders are sick to death of trying to control weeds while the government abrogates its responsibilities,” she said.
“The Public Transport Minister must take responsibility for his department urgently to address the disgraceful neglect of weed control along the north-east rail corridor.”
In response, the government said the organisations in charge of the section of railway line regularly maintained it, including recent works at Broadford, Wandong and Kilmore East in preparation for the summer season.
The government also confirmed work would be carried out again early this year to remove vegetation that had grown back quickly.
Crews also sprayed herbicides up to five metres from the track to manage growth in the rail corridor, including recent spraying at Wandong, it said.
This article first appeared on www.seymourtelegraph.com.au
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