Invasive Plants

The following are invasive plants that are found in the Winton Shire Council Region:

Common Name Scientific Name Category Number
Athel Pine Tamarix aphylla 3
Belly-ache Bush Jatropha gossypiifolia and hybrids 3
Blackberry Rubus anglocandicans, Rubus fruticosus aggregate 3
Broad Leaved Pepper Tree Schinus terebinthifolius  
Bunny Ears Opuntia microdasys 2, 3, 4, 5
Common Pest Pear, Spiny Pest Pear O. stricta syn. O. inermis 3
Coral Cactus Cylindropuntia fulgida 3
Cats Claw Creeper Dolichandra unguis-cati 3
Devils Claw Lbicella Lutea Locally declared
Devil’s Rope Pear C.imbricata 3
Eve’s Pin A. Subulate 3
Hudson Pear Cylindropuntia rosea & C. tunicate 2, 3, 4, 5
Mesquites (honey mesquite, mesquite or algarroba, Quilpie mesquite) Prosopis flandulosa, P. pallida, P. velutina 3
Mother of Millions Bryophyllum delagoense syn. B. tubiflorum, Kalanchoe delagoensis 3
Parkinsonia Parkinsonia aculeate 3
Parthenium Parthenium hysterophorus 3
Prickly Acacia Vachellia nilotica 3
Rats Tail Grass (American rat’s tail grass, giant Parramatta grass, giant rat’s tail grass) Sporobolus jacquemontii, S. fertilis, S. pyramidalis an dS. Natalensis 3
Snake Cactus C. spinosior 3
Tiger Pear O. aurantiaca 3
Water Lettuce Pistia stratiotes 3
Wild Lime Tree Zanthoxylum fagara Locally declared
Yellow Bells Tecoma stans 3
Yellow Oleander, Captain Cook tree Cascabela thevetia syn. Thevetia peruviana 3

For a full list of invasive plants see Schedule 2 Part 2 of the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Restricted matter is assigned category numbers from 1-7 based on its characteristics and the risks it poses.  More than one category may be assigned if multiple restrictions are appropriate to counter the risks.  A person must comply with the category requirement for the restricted matter unless otherwise authorised by regulation or permit.  The categories are as follows:

Category 1 – Is restricted matter that requires immediate containment or eradication to minimise the risk of spread. It must be reported to an inspector within 24 hours of an individual becoming aware of its presence and must be reported to the State

Category 2 – Is restricted matter that includes a range of plant and fish species that pose a significant biosecurity risk and require management. Category 2 restricted matter must be reported to an authorised officer (State or Local Government) within 24 hours of an individual becoming aware of its presence.

Category 3 – Is restricted matter that includes all invasive animals and plants where deliberate distribution, or disposal is a key source of spread. It must not be given as a gift, sold, traded or released into the environment unless the distribution or disposal is provided for in a regulation or under a permit.

Category 4 – Is restricted matter that includes specific invasive plants and animals that must not be moved to ensure they are not spread into other areas of the State. As with category 3, the intention of this prohibition is to limit its distribution or spread.

Category 5 – Is restricted matter that cannot be possessed or kept under a person’s control. This restricted matter category includes invasive species that have a high pest potential and capacity to impact heavily on the environment.  There are exemptions for seized items, where the restricted matter is being held for identification purposes or under permit.

Category 6 – Is restricted matter that cannot be fed unless held under a restricted matter permit or for the purposes of poison baiting. This includes invasive animals and noxious fish which are not owned by a person. The intention of this prohibition is to discourage population growth.

Category 7 – Is restricted matter that must be killed as soon as practicable and disposed of in a way described under a regulation. This is currently intended for the management of noxious fish.

Invasive plants can:

  • Adversely alter ecosystems function,
  • Reduce primary industry productivity and profitability,
  • Seriously limit the long-term sustainability of agriculture and natural resources,
  • Increase fire risk,
  • Increase costs of infrastructure maintenance,
  • Reduce amenity, and
  • Some weeds have adverse health effects on animal and/or human health.

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014 Landowners have an obligation to control invasive plants on their property.

Council’s Rural Services Officers are responsible for controlling invasive plants on Council land, reserves and stock routes. 

Council can assist landowners by providing information on ways to control invasive plants on private land. 

For more information on invasive plants, visit,  or contact the Winton Shire Council – Rural Services on 07 4657 2666.