A DRAFT State Weed Plan is being circulated for public comment on how best to achieve co-ordinated, effective weed management throughout WA. In the state's relatively short history since European settlement, more than 1350 exotic plants have become established as weeds. State Weed Plan steering committee chairman Rob Delane said the plan was initiated to encourage an integrated approach between the community, industry and government to reduce the impact of weeds. "Weeds now pose a serious threat to many of the state's ecosystems and cost agricultural producers dearly in control measures each year," Mr Delane said. "All Western Australians can help reduce the impact of weeds on the economy, the environment and human health. "This can be achieved through choices about the plants we grow for pleasure or profit, how we dispose of plant waste, how we manage the land under our control and our contribution to weed management on public land. The State Weed Plan steering committee, which includes a broad range of representatives, was formed in 1999 to develop a closely co-ordinated approach with appropriate participation at a local, regional and state level. The State Weed Plan is a broad over arching document, which will also includes specific State Weed Action Plan implementation recommendations. "The plan is based on the principle that weed management is an essential component of sustainable natural resource management," Mr Delane said. "It also focuses on prevention, early detection and intervention to achieve cost-effective weed management. "This can be achieved through the long-term commitment from managers of both private and public land." The State Weed Plan includes weeds on land and in waterways, but not those in the marine environment. One of the key recommendations is the establishment of a broad, skill-based State Weed Co-ordinating Council to facilitate the plan's implementation. Key actions under the plan include: pincreasing public awareness of the community's responsibilities for weed management; pco-ordinated weed management planning, implementation and monitoring; pco-operative local and regional management programs; prisk assessments to guide weed management priorities and programs; pimplementing efficient weed identification, reporting and removal processes; ppromoting weed management as a part of sustainable resource management; pestablishing an improved policy and legislative base for managing serious weeds across the state; pensuring adequate resources; and pregular monitoring of the effectiveness of the State Weed Plan. The draft State Weed Plan is now being distributed to a wide range of stakeholder groups and individuals for their input. Copies of the Plan can be obtained from Agriculture WA publications by telephoning 9368 3729. The deadline for public submissions on the plan is Friday, September 29.