Parthenium - our greatest threat

Operators of grain harvesting machinery: Keep NSW parthenium weed-free

Grain harvesting machinery, vehicles and equipment that have been used in Queensland are prohibited from entering NSW from Queensland under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015, unless the operator has:

Operators that meet these requirements are issued with a Carrier Biosecurity Certificate that certifies the requirements of the BOPA have been met. The penalty for importing parthenium weed carriers into NSW from QLD without meeting with requirements of the BOPA starts at $1,000 and can reach $2.2million if court proceedings ensue.

Approved inspection facilities are located at:

Town Phone number
Goondiwindi, Qld – Kildonan Road (07) 4671 1227
Hebel, Qld – Margaret Street (07) 4625 0916
Mungindi, Qld – Carnarvon Hwy (02) 6753 2323

All offices require 24 hours’ notice of your intention to present machinery for inspection. To notify offices, ring and leave a message on the answering service. Machinery can only be inspected during daylight hours.

Cleaning procedures for importation of grain harvester or comb trailer from Queensland

Operators of grain harvesting machinery must remove all soil and plant material from the following areas of grain harvesters:

Rotary harvester: Conventional harvester:
Rotary harvesterConventional harvester

Numbers that appear in the diagram are described in the list below. At the border, you will be required to sign a declaration that each of the areas listed have been cleaned. You should also clean any other areas of a machine or vehicle that are capable of carrying plant material.

Parthenium weed is a prohibited plant in NSW under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. It's a major threat to the agricultural industry and the community because it:

  • causes respiratory problems and causes severe dermatitis
  • contaminates grain
  • is unpalatable and toxic to livestock
  • reduces crop yields
  • can taint meat or milk
  • outcompetes pastures
  • is a host plant for crop viruses.

All vehicle and machinery operators should clean their machines and vehicles before they leave a farm or mine and before approaching the NSW/QLD border. Parthenium seed is very small, so machines and vehicles should be cleaned with a high-volume air compressor. Water jets should be used only for mud and other contaminants that will not yield to air treatment.

Parthenium weed seed is small and can remain trapped in inaccessible parts of harvesters and other farm and mineral exploration machinery and vehicles. Any maintenance or repairs that require the loosening of mechanical or structural components can dislodge parthenium weed seed. For any repairs then, the harvester should be removed from the crop and taken to an area that does not favour seedling establishment and that can be frequently inspected by the property owner. A gravelled area is ideal. Property owners should be informed about this location and advised to inspect the area regularly.

Property owners and occupiers: Keep NSW parthenium-free

Any person living in NSW that introduces the following vehicles and equipment onto the land they manage should check whether they are clean and free of mud, hay and grain before allowing them onto their property:

  • grain harvesters (including the comb or front)
  • comb trailers (including the comb or front)
  • bins used for holding grain during harvest operations
  • augers or similar equipment used for moving grain
  • vehicles used for transporting grain harvesters
  • vehicles used as support vehicles with grain harvesters and that have been driven in paddocks during harvest operations
  • mineral exploration drilling rigs and vehicles used for transporting those rigs.

Ask the operator whether the machinery and equipment has been used in Queensland, and if it has, ask to see a copy of the Biosecurity Certificate issued by DPI at the NSW/QLD border.

Check your property regularly for parthenium weed seedlings and if you think you have found parthenium weed, call 1800 680 244 or your local council weeds biosecurity officer.

Parthenium weed areas in Queensland

Approximately 60 million hectares of Queensland are affected by parthenium weed.

Parthenium weed infestations in Queensland are most likely to occur in the shires of Central Highlands, Izaac, Whitsunday, Charters Towers, Rockhampton, Maranoa and North Burnett. Isolated infestations occur in other areas so operators of grain harvesting machinery should inquire locally to avoid harvesting crops that contain parthenium weed.