Alert public help stem weed spread

A major campaign to prevent parthenium weed establishing in NSW has delivered outstanding results thanks to community and government support.

NSW Department of Primary Industries noxious plants advisory officer, Philip Blackmore, said public awareness was a significant component of the campaign.

“Most outbreaks of parthenium - up to 95 per cent - have occurred on roadsides and since we’ve been running the awareness campaign members of the public have contacted us to let us know where they’ve seen the weed,” Mr Blackmore said.

“We’ve been able to successfully contain and work to eradicate every outbreak we’ve been made aware of.

“It’s important for us to identify parthenium and treat it as soon as possible. If not treated it could spread throughout the State.”

NSW DPI and Council weeds officers have congratulated the public for reporting sightings of parthenium weed to help stem the spread of this noxious weed.

Narrabri Shire weeds coordinator, Julie Roy, said landholders who find parthenium on their property will receive support and advice from weeds officers.

“We’ll do the first spray for the landholder, at no charge and keep monitoring the infestation for at least seven to 10 years,” said Ms Roy.

“A parthenium plant can produce more than 15,000 seeds. It’s important to get on top of any infestations as soon as possible and just as important to keep an eye on the site to make sure we’ve got it under control.”

Infesting 18 million hectares of land in Queensland, parthenium could easily spread throughout NSW if not for prompt treatment of new outbreaks.

With parthenium costing the Queensland beef industry more than $20 million dollars a year, local graziers are keen to keep their properties parthenium-free. Moree grazier, Stuart Gall, said if he found a weed which looked like parthenium his local weeds officer would be his first port of call.

“It’s good to know if we do find a new weed we can call in an expert,” said Mr Gall.

“Parthenium could turn up anywhere and if we find it the sooner we get on top of it the better.”

With plants being found further south landholders are urged to watch out for the weed and report it immediately.

Parthenium weed has been found in Northern NSW (including Narrabri, Gunnedah and Moree), the Central West and as far south as Deniliquin and Jerilderie.

Anyone finding parthenium should contact the NSW DPI hotline 1800 680 244 or local council weeds officer.

Parthenium images and information can be found at

Media contact: Philip Blackmore, NSW DPI Noxious Plants Advisory Officer at Armidale, (02) 6776 5008 or 0427 311 824.

Issued by: Annette Cross, NSW DPI Tamworth, (02) 6763 1243 or 0427 201 840.

Electronic images are available.