Environment Minister Albert Jacob has approved funding of $5.5 million for an invasive weed management project aimed at conserving the native plants and animals of the Pilbara region.
Mr Jacob said the Liberal National Government project would tackle the significant conservation risk posed by the stinking passionflower, a creeping vine from the Americas, which had invaded parts of the north-west of Western Australia.
"Invasive weeds are one of the greatest threats to our native plants and animals and the main focus of the new project is to develop long-term management options to reduce the impact of this vine," he said.
"Stinking passionflower has a smothering effect on native species. Its leaves are poisonous to humans and the vine creates problems for mine site rehabilitation, agriculture, tourism and culturally significant areas."
Scientists at the Department of Parks and Wildlife and CSIRO will research the conditions in which the stinking passionflower thrives in its native lands to develop ways to better combat the weed in WA.
The Minister said the eight-year project would have a budget of $8.6 million, with $3.1 million provided through in-kind support from Parks and Wildlife and CSIRO.
"This project will deliver long-term conservation outcomes for the native plants and animals in terrestrial and aquatic environments," he said.
The funding complements four Gorgon net conservation benefits project, including the Dirk Hartog Island Ecological Restoration Project which has been made possible through an agreement between the State Government and the Gorgon Joint Venture project.
Stinking passionflower, (Passiflora foetida var. hispida), is a creeping vine native to the USA, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America and South America
Its leaves give off a pungent odour when crushed
The Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits Advisory Board provides advice to the Minister for Environment on which projects should be funded, to what value and under what conditions and milestones
Minister's office - 6552 5800