5-speed listening (Level 5)

Fast-growing weed covering Australian town






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A weed is causing havoc in a small Australian town. It kind of looks like a horror movie. The weed is called "hairy panic". It is clogging up homes and buildings in the small Australian town of Wangaratta, Victoria. Hairy panic is a grass that is found everywhere in Australia. It has long hairs along the edges of its stalks. The dead grass gathers in large bundles, which are blown across the land. It is a big problem in Wangaratta because there is a lot of it in the town. It has reached roof level in some areas. Residents cannot reach their garages because it is piled so high.

Many residents have left town until the weed has gone. They are fed up with spending several hours a day clearing piles of dead grass from their gardens. For some, it is a battle to fight through the wall of weeds to get into their home. Pam Twitchett told Australia's ABC news agency that the weed was "mentally draining". Another resident, Jason Perna, said: "It makes it difficult to get the car out in the morning - if you can find it." He also said the problem wasn't so big, saying: "It's a first-world problem. We don't put it on the scale of any of the famine or poverty going on in the world."

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