The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group Inc. (TCCG) consists of Landcare and other volunteers dedicated to the eradication of Wheel Cactus. To this end the TCCG, in conjunction with Parks Victoria, holds friendly and informal Wheel Cactus Control field days on the last Sunday of the month from April to November, on both public and private land. These field days always end with a free BBQ lunch, cuppa and cake and the opportunity to chat, exchange ideas and make contacts. It is a great opportunity to spend a morning outdoors meeting others who are concerned about preserving our unique environment. Everyone is welcome and no previous experience is required as new attendees are trained in cactus control methods.
TCCG also arranges field days with student groups, provides advice and practical assistance to landholders, conducts trials of control methods and networks with other Landcare and weed control groups locally and nationally. Some individual members also kill cactus between field days. TCCG raises awareness of the extent of the Wheel Cactus problem and its status as a Weed of National Significance through networking, regular articles in the local newspaper and other media, pamphlets, participation in local events, such as the Maldon and Baringhup Agricultural Show and Maldon Easter Parade, and word of mouth.
What is Wheel Cactus?
Opuntia robusta: A native to Mexico also called wheel cactus, silver dollar, silver dollar cactus, silver dollar prickly pear, sweet purple cactus and wheel pear. This weed is widely naturalized in western and central Victoria, western NSW and south-eastern and eastern SA. It most often infests pastures, granite outcrops and open woodlands.
Weed of National Significance
Wheel cactus, now classified as a Weed of National Significance, infests an estimated 10,000 hectares of land across the Maldon, Baringhup, Nuggetty and Sandy Creek districts, including the Maldon Historic Reserve, in Central Victoria.