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Southern Fleurieu

Water:  Controlling riparian weeds

Medium Priority

What is this issue

Environmental weeds (for example blackberry, willows and ash trees) affecting aquatic habitat including swamps.

Impacts of the issue

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


  • Wet areas = rapid spread
  • Difficulty of control (terrain, poor access)
  • Already widespread


  • Gaining voluntary compliance with Natural Resources Management 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
  • An increase in fire intensity and frequency under climate projections will increase invasion risk in the swamps

Who plays a role

  • Community Groups
  • Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
  • Landcare Groups
  • Local Government (District Council of Yankalilla, City of Victor Harbor, Alexandrina Council)
  • Media
  • Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin
  • Non-government organisations
  • Nurseries and relevant industry associations
  • Primary Industries and Regions SA - Biosecurity SA
  • SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board
  • Schools (engage through NRM Education)
  • State Government

Strategies and Actions

Contain spread of weed populations

  • Regular monitoring of areas with known weed populations
  • Promote and support landholders to undertake early and regular containment works, to minimise further spread
  • Support landholders to coordinate with neighbouring properties for weed management
  • Support quarantine measures, i.e. control movement and sale from infested properties, holding pens and plant hygiene
  • Promote good biosecurity hygiene practices to prevent further infestations
  • Support resourcing of weed identification services and herbarium taxonomists

Protect sites of high value within the region

  • Map key assets/ sites of the region and their weed threats
  • Support control of infestations in close proximity to key assets/ sites, aiming for a significant reduction in density
  • Monitor change in distribution within and in close proximity of key assets/ sites
  • Prevent incursion of weeds by encouraging natural regeneration and/or planting native species
  • Prevent incursion of weeds by managing total grazing pressure

Manage weeds using a landscape approach

  • Research, trial and develop integrated weed management packages – using both biological and herbicide treatments where possible
  • Promote integrated weed management technique to land managers
  • Support the collaboration of neighbours on control campaigns as a landscape approach
  • Implement processes within the NRM Act 2004 to ensure compliance with legislation
  • Recognise and reward land manager efforts at best practise weed control
  • Promote agistment and leasing as an option for small to medium sized properties owned and managed by absentee landholders
  • Provide technical advice and knowledge on best practise weed management