Parthenium weed continues to cause biosecurity concerns

Local Government, Local Land Services and NSW Primary Industries Weed professionals across the North West region remain on high alert following continuing incursions of one of Australia’s worst agricultural weeds.

Parthenium weed, a prohibited species in NSW currently infests large tracts of farming country in Central and South East Queensland. It is one of the world’s most invasive weeds, it spreads rapidly, is dangerous to livestock and seriously reduces crop and land values. Contact with plants or pollen can cause serious respiratory and allergic reactions in people.

North West Local Land Services Regional Weed Coordinator, Peter Dawson said significant infestations of Parthenium weed continue to be identified across the North West Local Land Services region with numerous single plants on roadsides and one major new incursion in a cropping paddock.

“Many infestations appear to be linked to grain and stock feed brought from Queensland into NSW during the recent drought with some hay and grain coming directly from Central Queensland, an area known to be seriously impacted by Parthenium weed,” Mr Dawson said.

“One incursion is directly linked to fodder harvesting equipment brought in from Queensland.

“While small roadside infestations are relatively easy to control, incursions on private properties can be more problematic and will play havoc with farming operations.

“All known incursions have been contained and will be eradicated as the seed bank is exhausted while some incursions will take longer to be fully contained and eradicated.”

While the number of infestations of Parthenium weed found in North West NSW is cause for concern, Landholders and Local Council Weed Biosecurity Officers have been quick to respond, reducing the immediate risk posed by mature plants and inspecting areas where there has been potential spread.

The North West Regional Weed Committee reminds landholders that it is a legal requirement under the Biosecurity Act 2015 to notify their Local Control Authority should they see or suspect they have seen Parthenium on or near their property.

“Any landholder who thinks they might have Parthenium weed should contact their Local Government Weeds Biosecurity Officer immediately,” Mr Dawson said.

“The best defence we have against invasive weeds such as Parthenium is to identify, contain and eradicate infestations as soon as possible. The longer infestations remain undetected the more difficult they are to contain and eradicate.

“We need everyone to be vigilant and report suspected sighting to their local Councils or the NSW DPI Weeds Helpline 1800 680 244.”

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