In a bid to bring one of Australia’s worst coastal weeds under control, bitou bush infestations in Byron Shire, including Cape Byron State Conservation Area, Broken Head, Brunswick Heads (north) and Billinudgel nature reserves and Crown Lands in the north of the shire will be targeted using aerial spraying this May.

Bundjalung National Park, south of Evans Head, will also be targeted.

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Pest Management Officer Lisa Wellman said that this is the first year that lands in the north of Byron Shire have been targeted with aerial spraying.

For public safety, temporary closures of areas to be sprayed will occur between the 18th of May and 26th of June.

Indicative closure dates are:

  • Byron Shire reserves and Crown Lands 18-22 May
  • Bundjalung National Park 25 – 29th May and 9-12th June

“These closure dates are only indicative as operations are very weather-dependant. Spraying may continue until the 26th of June and if the weather is against us, there is a contingency date of the 10th–14th of August for the control to be completed,” Ms Wellman said.

“The Byron Shire reserves and Crown Lands will be closed at the commencement of each scheduled spray day until the work is completed. The reserves will be reopened daily if conditions are not suitable for spraying.

“Closures will affect Cape Byron State Conservation Area, Broken Head Nature Reserve and Crown Lands and reserves north of the Brunswick River to the Byron Shire boundary.”

“In Bundjalung National Park the temporary closures will affect Ten Mile beach from Goanna (Snapper) Headland to Shark Bay and Woody Head to Iluka. This will include access to Ten Mile Beach at Black Rocks and Shark Bay.

Woody Head and Black Rocks camping area and Iluka Bluff are not within the treatment area and will remain open. Beach access at Black Rocks will be restricted while spraying is in progress.

“The successful aerial spraying program in Bundjalung National Park is now into its sixth year and it is the second year that Cape Byron and Broken Head Nature Reserve will be targeted, following the very successful operation last year.”

Byron Shire Council Manager, Open Spaces and Recreation, Nigel Greenup, said that the co-ordinated approach between Byron Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service will offer huge efficiencies in controlling the weed throughout the shire.

“Aerial spraying will enable us to control bitou bush over a broad area, which would otherwise be extremely difficult,” Mr Greenup said.

“Bitou bush is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity on the NSW North Coast and one of 20 Weeds of National Significance. Increased control in these reserves will be very beneficial for the biodiversity of Byron Shire.”

For further information contact:

  • Billinudgel Nature Reserve and Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve (north): Tweed Area Manager 66708600.
  • Broken Head Nature Reserve and Cape Byron State Conservation Area: Byron Coast Area Manager 66209300
  • Bundjalung National Park Black Rocks north: Richmond River Area Manager 66270200
  • Bundjalung National Park Ten Mile Beach to Iluka: Clarence North Area Manager 66411500
  • Byron Crown Lands: Byron Shire Council, Nigel Greenup 66859300 or Far North Coast Weeds 66233833