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Weed alert - Invasive orange hawkweed confirmed on the Monaro

Orange hawkweed has again been found on grazing land in the Monaro and land managers are being asked to remain vigilant, be on the lookout for and report any possible sightings of the weed as it continues to flower during the warmer months.

The recent confirmation of the weed on private property near Eucumbene resulted from a land manager reporting their sighting of the weed to the local control authority for invasive weeds, the Snowy Monaro Regional Council (SMRC).

“The landholder noticed an orange flowering plant in their paddock which they thought may have been orange hawkweed. They photographed the plants, marked the spot and contacted SMRC vegetation officers, which is what we’re asking everyone in the region to do” said Jo Powells, Senior Agricultural Advisor Local Land Services.

“The plant's presence was confirmed by staff and the National Parks and Wildlife Service weed eradication detector dogs last week and control measures have been undertaken.”

Hawkweed poses a significant risk to both farmland and conservation areas with modeling work suggesting a potential impact area of up to 27 million hectares of land across Southern Australia.

“The aggressive nature of hawkweed means that it can easily compete with both introduced and native pastures and establish rapidly in woodlands”.

“Examples from New Zealand, where it dominates more than 500,000ha of grasslands on the south island, show us that complacency could be costly”.

Orange hawkweed rosettes can closely resemble many paddock plants however the cluster of bright, daisy-like orange flowers grouped at the top of a hairy stem is unique to the weed. The plant's rosette leaves are also covered on both sides with long hairs.

If you suspect you have found orange hawkweed:

  • do not attempt to dig up, move or destroy the plants yourself
  • take pictures of the plants (close up) and of the surrounding landscape
  • mark the plant site with flagging tape, marker peg or branch etc
  • take a grid reference or GPS way point or draw a map
  • record the nearest track, creek, driveway, water trough or other landmarks
  • contact SMRC vegetation management staff (1300 365 365) or South East Local Land Services (6452 1455) to report the finding.

It is a requirement under the Biosecurity Act (2015) to report these plants immediately. This will allow staff to quickly confirm possible locations of these plants and commence control procedures at no cost to the land manager.

ENDS

Media contact: Jo Powells, 0429 785 986 Local Land Services, Senior Agricultural Advisor