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Central Ranges

Water:  Containing new aquatic weeds

High Priority

What is this issue

New and emerging weeds (such as spiny rush, Rhodes grass) affecting aquatic habitat. 

Impacts of the issue

  • Competition with native flora
  • Decline in the condition of remnant habitat, including threatened species habitat


  • Unintended introductions
  • Insufficient control
  • Difficulty of control


  • Gaining voluntary compliance with the Natural Resources Management Act 2004
  • Engaging landholders to control weeds on their properties 
  • Capacity of individuals to identify weeds
  • Insufficient resources, time and personnel to tackle on a largescale
  • Different perceived impacts of weeds, i.e. organic farming, broad acre, lifestyle
  • Regular new weed incursions   
  • Lack of follow up treatment in successive years
  • Difficult terrain
  • Reinfestation likely when neighbours are not coordinating their efforts
  • Human movement and transport

Climate impacts and adaptation needs

  • Identify areas that will be more susceptible to weed invasion under future climate change models
  • Identify ALERT weeds to prevent incursion of under climate change scenarios
  • Potential changes to weed behaviour, i.e. flowering time, spread, survival

Who plays a role

  • Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (particularly Parks staff)
  • Landholders
  • Local Action Planning and Landcare groups
  • Local Government (Mid Murray Council, Barossa Council, Adelaide Hills Council)
  • Primary Industries and Regions SA
  • SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board 

Strategies and Actions

Prevent ALERT weed incursions into the region

  • Education and capacity building for all community members regarding ALERT weeds with a potential to take hold in the region
  • Raise community awareness of high risk garden species and promote alternatives (target urban and peri-urban)
  • Support community surveillance, such as having weed identification services at Natural Resource Centres or networks such as weeds spotters
  • Monitoring of incursion pathways (i.e. major roads, laying of pipelines) and hotspots for likely incursion
  • Prevention of entry to region, keeping, movement and sale of weeds
  • Research to identify likely incursion under climate change or changed flow regimes, such as returning low flows
  • Support voluntary accreditation of nurseries and landscapers in promoting environmentally responsible species

Destroy/eradicate ALERT weed infestations where feasible

  • Detailed surveillance and mapping to locate all infestations
  • Landholders to destroy all infestations including seed banks and juveniles
  • Monitor progress towards destruction
  • Implement quarantine provisions if appropriate
  • Allocate resources to an emergency respond fund to enable early control