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New weeds declared in South East region

The State Government has declared an additional 24 weeds, including highly inflammable buffel grass and sweet pittosporum, to reduce the impact of pest plants across South Australia.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the declaration of the weeds under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 is in response to requests from the Natural Resources Management Boards and follows consultation with communities and industry.

“I have prohibited the sale of all these plants and made the control or destruction of some of them enforceable,” Mr Hunter said.

“New weeds are creating new risks for primary production, natural assets and public health and safety, so plant declarations must reflect these developments.

“Biosecurity SA and weed experts from the eight NRM regions have been comprehensively reviewing the declared plant schedule to keep weed management programs in line with current needs. This includes new policies on 51 weeds.”

Five formerly declared plants, including onion weed, have been removed from the declaration because legislative backing is no longer needed for these control programs, and the state policies on 22 other declared plants such as Salvation Jane have been updated.

“An important change is the declaration of buffel grass, an introduced grass that has invaded the semi-arid rangelands and is encroaching southwards,” Mr Hunter said.

“Buffel grass is known as a transformer weed in rangelands as it can change the character of the vegetation over wide areas.

“Other plants now prohibited from sale anywhere in South Australia include familiar garden plants such as gazania, sweet pittosporum and white arum lily.

“The regional NRM Boards have asked me to declare these weeds now so that we can minimise their spread by coordinated management. We aim to protect native vegetation, productive lands and the community from weed impacts.”

In the South East NRM region, the spiny perennial apple of Sodom is a threat to perennial pastures. Enforced control in the region and a statewide ban on its sale and movement will protect high-value sites.

Other declared weeds of concern in the region include Lincoln weed, spiny rush, gazania and white weeping brooms.

Source: Minister Ian Hunter  Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

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