29 Apr 2020
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has urged the community to be on the lookout for parthenium weed, Parthenium hysterophorus, following confirmation of the first incursion of the weed in Sydney.
NSW DPI State Priority Weeds coordinator, Nicola Dixon, said a Sutherland Shire Council invasive species officer found plants she suspected were parthenium weed between Croston and Geelong Roads in Engadine and immediately notified NSW DPI Biosecurity.
“The NSW Herbarium identified the plants as parthenium weed and we are working with council officers who are conducting follow-up inspections and surveillance in the shire,” Ms Dixon said.
“Parthenium weed can cause severe allergic reactions in people, including dermatitis and respiratory problems and can cause health problems in dogs and livestock.
“We advise anyone who suspects they have seen parthenium weed to note the location and call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline, 1800 680 244, their local council or Local Land Services with the details for identification and assistance.”
This is the first recorded incursion of parthenium weed east of the Great Dividing Range and plans are in place to eradicate the weed in NSW.
Parthenium weed invades pastures and crops and poses a significant biosecurity risk to NSW.
Widespread in Queensland, parthenium covers an area of 18 million hectares in central areas of the state, causing millions of dollars in damage to livestock and cropping industries.
The weed could be brought into NSW in contaminated soil, seed, grain and hay if proper biosecurity procedures are not followed.
Ms Dixon advised Sydney residents to look for the weed in their local area, especially after rain.
“Inspect roadsides and areas with bare soil, where soil or compost have been delivered or where earthworks have taken place,” she said.
“Check areas where you have fed hay, grain or bird seed to pets, livestock or chickens.”
More information about parthenium weed and how to identify the plant at different growth stages is available from NSW DPI, with an online form to record any weed sightings.
Hi-res images available from email@example.com.
Media contact: Bernadette York 0427 773 785