‘Weedos’ gather in Sydney to share latest weed management insights + PICS

James Nason September 10, 2018

WHAT do you call a room full of weed-management specialists?

Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis urged weed management specialists to spread information about weeds via social media to improve public awareness.

“Weedos” was the light-hearted term ABC Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis used in his video address to welcome more than 400 researchers, scientists, agronomists and weed control officers from around Australia who have gathered in Sydney today.

For 21 years, weed management experts have been coming together from across the country to share knowledge, insights and strategies for managing weeds at the annual Australasian Weeds Conferences, held in a different city each year.

Mr Georgiadis praised the organising Council of Australian Weed Societies (CAWS) for achieving 21 annual conferneces, noting the event’s milestone birthday was symbolic of the growing weed control movement around Australia.

With today’s capacity to shift large volumes of people and products from one part of the world to another at the speed of a jet aircraft, incredible disturbances were happening to landscapes and exposing entire areas to new potential weed threats.

But with new knowledge and technologies was coming a greater ability to turn disturbances into opportunities to predict outcomes and prepare mitigation strategies.

“Clearly this conference is a 21-year-old,” he said.

“It has a head on its shoulders, it knows where it is going, but at the same time it is finding its feet in these new challenges.

“By being together, by coming and sharing these thoughts, both locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, we can see and incubate for a better word the solutions to the problems of nature’s rampant invasive capacity when you let weeds loose in landscapes where they have never been or should never have been before.”

Costa urged people to share information on weeds on social media to ensure weed issues were understood beyond the tight-knit group of the weed community.

“Make an effort to do a this because the exponential value of it is immeasurable,” he said.

“Go forth weedos; love your work.”

Over the next three days, the conference is hearing from a wide range of local and international weed management experts, covering topics such as new technologies, systems and tools being used in weed management, new ways of modelling, communication, surveillance and detection; biological, mechanical, and chemical weed control and research, herbicide resistance and the impact of changing climates on future weed distribution.

More stories from the conference to appear on Grain Central this week.



Leanne Hanvey, NSW Environemt and Heritage; Hillary Cherry, Weeds Society of NSW and Catherine Borger, WA Dept of Primary Industry and Regional Development.

Bianca Gold, Department of Land, Water and Planning, Victoria and Jane Kelly, Charles Sturt University.

Roberto Lujan and Jessica Strauss from the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative.

Paul Comber and Yasuke Koda from the Rous County Council with Charles Mifsud of the NSW DPI.

Peter Harper, Bettersafe, Sydney with Doug Campbell, Upper Hunter Weeds Authority, Scone.

John Virtue, PIRSA Biosecurity SA and Andreas Glanznig, Centre for Invasive Species Solutions.

Daniel Lewer, Hunter Land Management and Tony Gilson from Kleinfelder.

Pamela Bateman and Jillian Macintyre of Northern Beaches Council with Kim Hignell, president of the Weeds Society of NSW, which is hosting the 21st Australasian Weeds Conference in Manly this week.

New Zealand delegates at the 21st Australian Weeds Conference included Claire Dowsett, Agresearch, Hamilton and Heidi Pene, Waikato Regional Council, catching up here with John Clarkson from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service in Atherton, Qld.

Gulshan Mahajan (left) and Asad Khan (right) from the University of Queensland Gatton with Tahir Awan from the Rice Research Institute.

Council of Australian Weeds Societies president Dr Rachel Melland opens the 21st Australasian Weeds Conference.

Keynote speaker Professor Antonio DiTommaso from Cornell University in New York discussed how changing climates are likely to impact future weed distributions.


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