IN ALAN Dodd’s 1939 report, he stated: “The first plant of prickly pear in Australia to be destroyed by Cactoblastis cactorum was at Chinchilla, Queensland, in September 1926, six months after the original liberation of eggs had been made”.
September 2016 marks 90 years since this great achievement, which began seven years of intensive breeding and distribution of the moth species as a biological control measure.
On Saturday, September 10, a celebration has been organised at the Chinchilla Museum to commemorate the end of the prickly pear plague in the Western Downs.
From 3–8pm, the community is invited to attend the event, which will include a photo display, a film from the time, live entertainment from the Whybirds’ Cactoblastis Bush Band and other activities.
A camp-fire oven dinner complete with damper and billy tea will follow for a minimal charge.
On Sunday, September 11, people can join in further recognition of this event at 10.30am at the Cactoblastis Monument on Clarks Rd, which details the work done at the field station.
The last remaining shed from the project can be seen from the monument.
Local prickly pear expert Margaret Cameron will also be there to talk about the plague and the people who helped destroy it.