The Nursery and Gardening Industry (NGAI) has joined with the Australian Government in the fight against garden plants that can become invasive weeds. They aim to prevent the production and sale of such invasive plants. A 'grow me instead' website has been established and a range of 'grow me instead' booklets produced which identify common garden plants which have become weedy and suggest native alternatives.
It is estimated that weeds cost the Australian agricultural industry around $4 billion a year. The real cost of weeds to the environment is difficult to calculate, however it is likely to be at least equal to the cost to agriculture. Of the almost 3000 introduced plant species now known to be established in the Australian environment (over 500 are known in the Wet Tropics), 65% are ‘escaped’ garden plants. An important step in preventing the spread of weeds is public education to help change attitudes and behaviours that contribute to the weed problem.
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