Ways to prevent weed spread

Preventing the spread of weeds is difficult, but there are many ways you can help protect our economy, environment and quality of life. This page provides tips and ideas for gardeners, land managers and industry, outdoor enthusiasts and government.

Everyone

  • Identify the major weeds in your area. Your local government, Bushcare or Landcare group may provide you with more information.
  • Ask for a Weed Hygiene Declaration before buying anything that may be contaminated with weed seed. Weeds can be transported as contaminants in soil, grain, hay, and mulch, and by livestock.
  • Stick to designated roads and tracks and avoid weed-infested areas.
  • Clean your equipment, boots, vehicles and machinery when leaving known weed-infested areas.
  • Clean off-road vehicles by blowing, vacuuming or washing dirt and seeds.
  • Check boats, propellers and trailers before entering or leaving waterways and remove any plant material.
  • Contact landowners before entering their properties and check what their requirements are for preventing the spread of weeds.
  • Don´t dump weeds and garden waste in bush or parkland. Dispose of waste appropriately by transporting it safely to a waste disposal facility or burn it, bury it or add it to onsite mulching.
  • Never buy waterweeds or keep them in your ponds and aquariums.
  • Never dump aquarium plants, water or contents down drains or into waterways.
  • Check the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service website before ordering plant material from overseas, including bulbs and seeds purchased over the internet or by mail order.
  • Wash your car on the lawn to prevent detergent entering waterways via stormwater drains, as nutrient-enriched water and soil promote weed growth.
  • Control weed infestations before they spread and become a major problem.

Gardeners

  • Make your garden weed-free. Check you don't have any of the plants included in the A-Z listing of weeds on this website. Your local government, Bushcare or Landcare group may have a list of common garden escapees, and a list of safe alternative species.
  • Avoid plants with weed potential. Birds and wind can disperse weed seeds and other reproductive plant parts 20-30 km from your home.
  • Stop water and fertilisers running from your garden into bushland areas and waterways, as nutrient-enriched water and soil promote weed growth.
  • Never buy water weeds or keep them in your ponds. Visiting birds can move weeds from your pond into local waterways, as can flooding after heavy rain.
  • Be careful using weeds in your mulch, as weed seeds can survive the mulching process.
  • Buy weed-free soil, mulches and fertilisers, including manure, and be prepared to manage any weeds that may come in from these sources.

Land managers and industry

  • Develop a pest management plan, incorporate weed seed spread prevention into existing management systems, or follow an industry code of practice.
  • Develop protocols and procedures to prevent weed seeds from entering or leaving your property.
  • Manage a buffer area or windbreak around your boundary.
  • Request that visitors (including service providers) clean their vehicles, machinery and equipment before entering your property.
  • Request written assurance that vehicles and machinery are clean. A Weed Hygiene Declaration may be used.
  • Request a Weed Hygiene Declaration when buying anything that may be contaminated with weed seed.
  • Set aside containment areas to manage any weed emergence when unsure of the weed status of livestock or feed.
  • Quarantine livestock for at least one week before they enter or leave your property.
  • Clean machinery, vehicles and tools that have been in weed-infested areas.
  • Use integrated weed management for more effective control.
  • Keep access roads, easements and yards weed-free.

Outdoor enthusiasts

  • Stick to designated roads and tracks and avoid weed-infested areas.
  • Clean your equipment, boots, vehicles, bikes and trailers when leaving known weed-infested areas. Pay special attention to the undercarriage and tyres.
  • Clean off-road vehicles by blowing, vacuuming or washing dirt and seeds off.
  • Before travelling off-road, check with the local government or landholder for any travel restictions due to weed infestations.
  • Clean all clothing, shoes and camping gear before leaving a camping site.
  • Use only weed-free feed for your horse eight days before entering country areas and throughout your trip. Ask your feed supplier for a Weed Hygiene Declaration.
  • Remove weed seeds from animals by brushing them thoroughly and cleaning their hooves before and after travel.
  • Learn to identify weeds so you know when you are in an infested area.
  • Don´t pick flowers or plants that you can´t identify - they may be weeds.
  • Check and remove plant material from boats, propellers and trailers before entering and leaving waterways.

Further information

Last updated 07 March 2013