New Cost:Benefit Case Studies added to website

Four new “Cost:Benefit” case studies are now available on the VSTWP website! The VSTWP commissioned the four case studies to ascertain the costs and returns of controlling serrated tussock for four different landowner types. The case studies were completed and researched by agricultural consultants at RMCG.

The four case studies focussed on the following landowner types:

  • Non-Commercial Private Landowner
  • Commercial Private Landowner
  • Local Government
  • Residential Developer

The project has been funded as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. Its purpose is to gain an understanding of the various costs and benefits of different landowner types for treating and managing Serrated Tussock.

Managing invasive species requires thinking which is outside the box. Weed and rabbit management are complex problems, with no easy solutions or silver bullets. These species occur across vast spatial scales, and are influenced by many ecological, economic and social factors.

The case studies show that the big financial savings are made by treating Serrated Tussock before it gets established and that the returns on investment are very high if treatment is successful in preventing further spread. The case studies also show the diminishing costs over a longer period of time, if an investment is made into treating infestations prior to seeding each year.

One of the concluding comments discovered during the production of the case studies, was that “if serrated tussock is left to infest a property or landscape, the cost of controlling it will be at least five times higher than if it was prevented in the first instance”. This is a massive cost saving and an important message to deliver to landowners who have untreated plants on their property.

Community Engagement Officer for the VSTWP, Ivan Carter, said “The clear message from the four case studies is that there are large financial returns on investment for treating serrated tussock before it becomes the dominant plant in pastures and grasslands”. “The case study on the commercial private property in Clarkefield concluded that a substantial return on a small investment of $130 per $1 spent was achieved for the control work and a small amount of herbicide each year”.

These figures will prove invaluable in working with similar landowners, developers, local governments and community members across Victoria.

The newly published case studies can be viewed by visiting:

IMG 1987
Alan Morton, VSTWP Committee Member, was one of the properties featured in the cost:benefit case studies.