A new system of standardised dieback awareness signs will be installed throughout the South- West of Western Australia to protect native flora and fauna against the deadly effects of the plant disease.
The highly invasive disease has infested hundreds of thousands of hectares in the South-West and is also widespread in gardens and bushland across the Perth metropolitan area.
The disease is caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi, an introduced soil-borne micro-organism that spreads through water, soil and plant tissue. It attacks the root systems of plants and kills them, which in turn causes the destruction of habitats for native wildlife.
About 2,300 of the South-West’s 5,700 flora species are susceptible to dieback and the disease is considered a major threat to conservation of the State’s biodiversity.
Environment Minister David Templeman said a standardised dieback signage system will encourage people to take precautions to prevent further distribution of the disease.
“The disease is unknowingly distributed by the movement of people and animals, and this new system will alert people to the need to protect disease-free areas.” Mr Templeman said.
“Phytophthora dieback was introduced more than a century ago but there are still areas of the State that are free from the disease and protecting them will be a worthy investment for future generations.”
Several councils and groups have already ordered the signs, including the Cities of Stirling, Armadale and Albany, the Shire of Ravensthorpe, Iluka Resources Ltd and the Twin Creeks Community Conservation Area.
The signs will be labelled: dieback free, dieback infested or dieback unknown, and can be displayed in parks, reserves, on walking trails, roadsides, private properties, mining leases and infrastructure corridors.
The new signs are an initiative of Project Dieback, a cross-regional Natural Resource Management project, which worked closely with Great Southern TAFE and the Department of Environment and Conservation.
Minister's office - 9220 5050