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Greg's Indigenous Plants & Landscapes
Australian plants for Australia
ABN: 65 285 170 251
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  • Many people have romantic visions of bying a rural property and retiring from or opting out of the rat race.
  • But beware because that dream rural proprty could end up as a financial noose around your neck for reasons that you NEVER saw coming!
  • I will explain with a prime example of this property of about 37 hectares or 91 acres.
    • There is a scaterring of gum trees that appear as dark grey-green blobs.
    • The blobs of brighter green are all Gorse or Furze, with an additional previously sprayed area of gorse adjacent to the neighboring paddock, bordered of mature conifers, at the bottom of the image and between the centre and the right edge.
    • The brown is dry pasture grasses.
    • The patches of diffuse green is all blackberry.
    • So half or more of this property is essentially inaccessible and unusable
    • What is not visible is the serrated tussock that is scattered all over the property, including in the inaccessible parts.

Gorse infestation on the above property 

  • Now blackberry, gorse and serrated tussock are declared noxious weeds and you are legally obligated to control them on rural properties - it is not optional.
  • If you don't control them to the satisfaction of the authorities then you can face HUGE fines.
  • The owner of this property is facing huge fines from the local council because they have failed to adequately control the blackberry and gorse in the required time frame.
  • And if the serrated tussock is not controlled to the satisfaction of the Department of Sustainability and Environment in their required time frame, and regardless of the fact that some of the serrated tussock is located in inaccessible areas, then they will also face huge fines from the Department of Sustainability and Environment.
  • This property has been ignored for so long that to get all the noxious weeds under control would take many tens of thousands of dollars, if not a few hundred thousand dollars.
  • And even that would not be the end of it - decades of follow up spraying will be required to prevent the property reverting to its current state.
  • Niether the council nor the Department of Sustainability and Environment care if you can afford this sort of money - they themsevles have a stautory duty to fulfill and they do so without fear or favour.

So if a rural property comes up for sale and you assume you have a sweet deal, then I suggest you think once, twice and three times lest you tie that financial noose around your own neck.

You need to know your noxious weeds, and you need to examine the property closely in different seasons to make sure you are not buying soemting you will live to regret.

City 'tree changers' are the most vulnerable here because they are invariably naive about noxious weeds.