NSW taskforce takes action to destroy tropical soda apple

Farmers, land managers and the environment are set to benefit from the NSW Tropical Soda Apple Taskforce’s new best practice manual URL following the launch in Coffs Harbour.

North Coast Regional Weeds Coordinator, Ashley Donges said the new manual supports the NSW Tropical Soda Apple Strategic Plan.

“The plan is to suppress, destroy and contain existing tropical soda apple infestations and rapidly eradicate all new incursions of this insidious weed,” Ashley said.

"It’s important we all work together to control and contain tropical soda apple as it has the potential to spread in coastal regions of NSW and Queensland and inland through cattle movements.”

“This new manual shows you how to identify the weed and what to do if you find it, how to control and dispose of the weed and how to stop its spread when selling, buying and transporting livestock or moving vehicles, fodder and machinery.”

The manual is a collaborative initiative delivered by the NSW Government, including NSW DPI, Local Land Services, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Forestry Corporation of NSW, with NSW Farmers, Queensland Government, Rous County, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour City, Bellingen Shire, Nambucca Valley, Kempsey Shire, Port Macquarie Hastings, Tenterfield Shire and Midcoast councils and the New England Weeds Authority.

Tropical soda apple is subject to a state-wide Biosecurity (Tropical Soda Apple) Control Order 2022 under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015.

The best practice manual gives landowners information they can use to meet the requirements of the control order.

Landowners and occupiers must keep their land free from the weed and prevent further germination.

They need to ensure no part of a tropical soda apple plant which could produce a new plant, including stems, leaves, fruit, and seeds, is moved off their land, which includes movement by machinery, fodder and livestock.

Tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum, is an aggressive, prickly, perennial shrub which has invaded areas from the Hunter to Northern NSW.

It invades open to semi-shaded areas, pastures and riparian zones, forests, roadsides, recreational areas, and horticultural and cropping areas. It reduces biodiversity by displacing native plants and disrupting ecological processes.

The weed grows in thorny thickets, creating physical barriers to prevent animals from accessing shade and water, hosts diseases and pests of cultivated crops and contains solasodine, which is poisonous to people.  More information: https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/TropicalSodaApple

Media Contact

For more information, please contact Chris Finley, (Acting) Regional Communications Advisor, North Coast via email chris.finley@lls.nsw.gov.au or 0477 193 761

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