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Gunnedah Shire on alert following discovery of Parthenium weed

May 21, 2021

Gunnedah Shire Council is urging landholders to be on the lookout for Parthenium on properties, following recent discoveries of the invasive weed in the North West.

Currently found mostly in Central and South East Queensland, Parthenium weed is a prohibited species in NSW. The highly invasive weed poses a significant risk to livestock and reduces crop and land values. Contact with plants or pollen can also cause serious respiratory and allergic reactions in people.

Eight significant infestations of Parthenium have been identified across the North West and Hunter regions over the last 12 months, along with numerous single plants on roadsides throughout NSW.

Council Biosecurity Officer Lee Amidy said Council is working with Local Land Services and weed professionals from the NSW Department of Primary Industries to swiftly identify and manage any local infestations.

“A number of infestations have been discovered in the Gunnedah Shire since late April last year. The last two occurred on private property and exceeded 40 hectares,” Mr Amidy said.

“The infestations appear to be linked to grain and stock feed brought from Queensland into NSW during the recent drought.

“Although all visible plants have been physically removed by Council staff, both reinfestation and potential spread from these properties will need to be monitored for a number of years.”

Pete Dawson, Regional Weed Coordinator for North West Local Lands Service said any landholder who thinks they might have Parthenium weed should report it immediately.

 “Given the flow of hay and grain coming in from Queensland, it was to be expected that we would see an influx of new weeds including Parthenium,” Mr Dawson said.

“While the number of infestations in the North West and Hunter is cause for concern, local Councils have been quick to respond, reducing the immediate risk posed by mature plants and inspecting areas where there has been potential spread.

“Landholders are reminded it is a legal requirement under the Biosecurity Act 2015 to notify the local control authority should they see or suspect they have seen Parthenium on or near their property.”

Chair of the North West Regional Weeds Committee Mike Whitney has echoed Mr Dawson’s comments and is encouraging the community to be vigilant.

“The best defence we have against invasive weeds such as Parthenium is to identify, contain and begin coordinated control work on infestations as soon as possible,” Mr Whitney said.

“The longer infestations remain undetected the more difficult they are to contain and eradicate.”

Suspected sightings can be reported to Gunnedah Shire Council on (02) 6740 2100 or to the NSW DPI Weeds Helpline on 1800 680 244.

For further information on parthenium weed and how to identify it, visit



Media contact: Communications team (02) 6740 2100.