Plagues, Pestilences and Diseases
Australia: Locust plague marches on Melbourne
* From: AAP
* November 18, 2010 5:00PM
AUSTRALIA'S worst locust plague in 70 years has marched into
metropolitan Melbourne as federal and state authorities met to consider
their plan of attack.
Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig today met with ministers and
officials from NSW, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland to discuss
the response to the swarms.
Senator Ludwig said the response so far had been "extremely efficient",
but with the pests taking to the wing the time had come to discuss
realistic approaches to controlling the swarms.
There had been an increase in reports of fledgling or young adult
locusts, with swarms even spotted in Melbourne, he said.
"There has been a sudden influx of locusts into parts of the Melbourne
metropolitan area," Senator Ludwig said in a statement.
"More localised movement will occur in all affected areas during the
coming weeks, before significant long-distance swarm migration is
likely to occur."
Spraying swarms was "inefficient, less effective and costly", and
potentially dangerous if done from the air, Senator Ludwig said.
"However, we recognise the urgency in tackling this problem and
treatment of swarms will be considered in extreme circumstances," he
"It is absolutely critical that landholders continue to monitor locust
outbreaks because treatment on the ground before locusts swarm is the
most effective tool."