Chilean Needle Grass located and identified on Warrah Creek Road, landowners urged to be vigilant, early detection is essential

Chilean Needle Grass has been located, and identified on Warrah Creek Road reserve and adjoining private land. While this weed is new to the Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) area, it is known to have been present in a neighboring area for more than twenty years. These infestations have been continually monitored and maintained with a control regime.

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Last Wednesday LPSC Authorised Officers for Weeds, in conjunction with the Upper Mooki Landcare Group, organised a well-attended get together of concerned local landowners/managers, private spray contractors, local Land Services field staff and a chemical supplier at the infested site to discuss ways to identify Chilean Needle Grass and the control options available.

Chilean Needle Grass is recognised and listed as a Weed of National Significance and a Regional Priority Weed under the North West Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017-2022. This plan was developed in line with the new (July 1 2017) Biosecurity Act and applicable for both our Region and Council Area.

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Chilean Needle Grass (Nassella neesiana) is classified as a Priority Weed in LPSC area with a Control Objective of CONTAINMENT: These weeds are widely distributed in the wider region. While broad scale elimination is not practicable, minimisation of the biosecurity risk posed by these weeds is

Chilean Needle Grass (Nassella neesiana) is closely related to another, very problematic weed, Serrated Tussock (Nassella trichotoma) and once established it is unlikely it can be eradicated. However, small newly establishing infestations may be eradicated with a great deal of persistence.

Chilean Needle Grass appears very similar to the native spear grasses (Austrostipa spp). The most diagnostic feature of Chilean needle grass, and only found in this species, is the corona; a raised crown of small teeth, at the junction of the seed body and the seed awn. The awn twists when dry and often has two bends in it. Vegetative, green leafy plants of Chilean Needle Grass can be mistaken for many other winter green species, especially Danthonia and Fescue.

Under the Biosecurity Act, all plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows, or ought to know, of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.

Also under the Act, a Tenure Neutral Obligation applies for all land Owners/Managers, as a shared and equal responsibility, including Councils and all Public Authorities, alike.

Find out more at the NSW DPI Weeds Website

Please report any findings to LPSC’s Weeds Officers Peter Scott 0428 961 982 or Mike Whitney 0427 961 980, or contact them for further advice.

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