Call for Capes residents to support an arum lily blitz

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions assistant operations officer Renee Ettridge and Nature Conservation Margaret River Region project officer Genevieve Hanran-Smith.

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions assistant operations officer Renee Ettridge and Nature Conservation Margaret River Region project officer Genevieve Hanran-Smith.

Nature Conservation Margaret River Region has partnered with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to wage a $340,360 three-year war against the toxic arum lily.

The Arum Lily Blitz marks the Margaret River region's biggest ever coordinated counter-attack on the invasive weed, which was introduced from South Africa and is now established across the Capes.

Nature Conservation project officer Genevieve Hanran-Smith said the blitz was bringing together local and State Government agencies, environmental organisations, and private landholders for a coordinated, concerted and sustained control effort.

"We have been battling the arum lily since 2012, but because it covers land of all tenures and spreads so easily, it's been really difficult," she said.

"This time - with a clear plan, long-term funding and everyone on board - things will be different."

Funded by the WA Government's Natural Resource Management Program, the blitz will involve comprehensive monitoring and control programs; free herbicide, training and resources for landholders; and a widespread awareness campaign.

Ms Hanran-Smith said the State Government's support was a game-changer for the region.

"It is great to see the government responding to community action like this by providing funding and working alongside us to make a difference," she said.

"The next step is to get all landholders involved."

The blitz will be guided by the Arum Lily Management Plan for the Margaret River region, prepared by Nature Conservation Margaret River Region and DBCA.

The plan offers clear direction on the coordinated approach needed to control arum lily to protect the well recognised values of the region.

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions assistant operations officer Renee Ettridge said the impact of arum lily on biodiversity is a significant concern.

"The department is keen to work in collaboration with the community and other agencies on the long-term management of arum lily in priority areas to protect environmental values," she said.

"While eradication of arum lily is not feasible, DBCA's focus continues to be management of the weed around threatened ecological communities and other important vegetation communities."

A major component of the campaign will be changing public perceptions and motivating community action.

While acknowledging it would be a big undertaking, Ms Hanran-Smith was optimistic.

"In our experience most landholders are keen to control arum lily once they know that others in their neighbourhood are working on the problem," she said.

"They want to be good neighbours as well as responsible custodians for this beautiful part of the world.

"The good news is, arum lily is easy to kill, but we have to act together."

From self-spraying or outsourcing the job to volunteering for mapping and monitoring, there are numerous ways to get involved.

Go to natureconservation.org.au to learn more and register to be part of the blitz.