Parthenium is the greatest weed threat to New South Wales. It spreads rapidly. Contact with the plant or pollen can cause serious allergic reactions in people. It is dangerous to grazing animals, and reduces crop and land values. Endemic to an area of central Queensland covering 18 million hectares.
New South Wales has made keeping this weed out a top priority. Although harvesters are high-risk, outbreaks can occur from various sources including any machinery or vehicles that have been in parthenium weed areas of Queensland. The emphasis on keeping parthenium weed out of New South Wales rests with you, the owners and operators of cross-border machinery. Therefore the operators of all machinery, not just harvesters, have a duty of care to prevent their machines from spreading parthenium weed.
Clean your machine before it leaves the farm. This minimises potential weed spread and promotes your image as a professional operator.
Parthenium seed is very small, so thoroughly clean your machine with a high volume air compressor. Use water jets only for mud and other contaminants that will not yield to air treatment.
Do not rely solely on cross-border inspections to test your machine's weed-free status — it should be cleaned before it gets anywhere near the border. Having your machine rejected at the border usually means many valuable hours lost because the machine has to be returned to the relevant border cleandown facility.
At the border, you will also be required to sign a declaration that your machine has been cleaned according to the regulation. Signing a false declaration is an offence.
On arrival at a new job, offering the property owner an inspection of your harvester helps to assure your client that you are a professional and that you have taken all reasonable measures to ensure your machine is weed-free. It will also lessen the chance of a weed outbreak being wrongly attributed to your machinery.
If your machine has previously harvested on a property that was infested by parthenium weed, the property owner should be informed. Not disclosing this could increase your liability if parthenium weed did establish on that property. If your machine has however never been in a parthenium weed area, a log book or other evidence of this will reassure the property owner.
NOTE: The cleaning procedure described in this brochure — and required under the Biosecurity Regulation 2017 — reduces the immediate risk of spreading parthenium weed. It does not totally eliminate that risk since parthenium weed seed can remain trapped in inaccessible parts of the harvester. Any maintenance or repairs to your harvester that require the loosening of mechanical or structural components can dislodge parthenium weed seed. For any repairs then, remove the harvester from the crop and try to take the machine to an area that does not favour seedling establishment and that can be frequently inspected by the property owner. A gravelled area near the farm sheds is ideal. Always tell the property owner of this location and advise them to inspect the area subsequently.
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 inquire locally to avoid harvesting crops that contain parthenium weed.
|Goondiwindi Dip Yards||(07) 4671 1227|
|Hebel||(07) 4625 0916|
|Mungindi||(02) 6753 2323|
This checklist is provided for your convenience so that you can keep a record as your machine is cleaned. At the border, you will be required to sign a declaration that each of the relevant areas below have been cleaned. You should also clean any other areas of a machine or vehicle that are capable of carrying plant material.
|Parts of harvesters that must be cleaned|
The following areas of grain harvesters — matched to the diagrams above — must be cleaned to remove soil and plant material.
1. The area under the skid plate. (At the border, access to this area must be provided, preferably by removal of the skid plates)
17. The threshing or separating area, including the drum and concaves behind the rasp bars and lead-in plates and around concave wires
17. The external top and side of the conical section of the rotor cage
THE FOLLOWING EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLES MUST ALSO BE CLEANED TO REMOVE SOIL AND PLANT MATERIAL.
|Bins and Augers|
|Escort and transport vehicles|