By Deanne Jeffers
RESIDENTS across Greater Shepparton are being urged to keep their eye out for Bindii, with rain and warm weather producing widespread influx in the weeds’ growth.
Local resident, Barbara Welsh expressed concern about the weeds epidemic growth this season after visiting Shepparton Public Cemetery to mark her parents’ birthday, which she does each January. Mrs Welsh is 75-year-old and is worried that the weed’s growth has impacted safe access to the parts of the cemetery.
Shepparton Public Cemetery Trust (SPCT) chair, Margaret Strewart, explained that the public cemetery employ four people, including three grounds people and largely relies on volunteerism and government grants to improve the area.
Mrs Welsh said, “We are doing our very best to maintain the grounds and I acknowledge that people get upset if they visit the cemetery and see the area with weeds. We follow a spraying program and digging exercises to eradicate Bindii eyes, yet the weather and ongoing watering which is necessary to keep the new lawn cemetery green has led to immense growth in weeds.”
“As a not-for-profit organisation, our funding to afford additional labour and high-strength, commercial-grade weed solution is stretched. We do the best we can, having utilising government grants to build our new mausoleum wall and fencing, but we are open for all the help we can get to make this better.”
Mrs Welsh, who uses the cemetery, would also like to appeal to any community groups who may organise a working bee to assist in eradicating the weeds from the cemetery. SPCT’s Mrs Stewart, who has been a passionate volunteer with the Lions Club and a member of the SPCT for 12 years said, “If everyone gave just one hour of their time to improving our community, we could achieve so much.”
“Bindii are very easily spread once the seeds form. They stick to tyres and shoes and spread through parks, nature strips and lawns. The weed produces a large, hard spiny seed capsule that is capable of penetrating people’s skin, animal’s paws and fur, and bicycle tyres,” said Council’s acting director infrastructure, Janelle Bunfield.
Phone Council on 5832 9700 if you notice Bindiis on nature strips; in parks, reserves, or sportsgrounds; along Council-owned roadsides; or shared pathways. Contact local agricultural chemical suppliers or nurseries for more herbicide advice.