Invasive Plants

Some invasive plants are restricted matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014.  Restricted matter is found in Queensland and has significant economic, environmental and social impacts.

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 Prohibited restricted matter requires immediate containment or eradication to minimise the risk of spread. It must be reported to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours of an individual becoming aware of its presence and must be reported to the State.  RING BIOSECURITY QUEENSLAND IMMEDIATELY ON 13 25 23.

Category 2 restricted matter 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 restricted matter 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 restricted matter 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 restricted matter 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 restricted matter 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 restricted matter 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.

Locally Declared Invasive Plants that are considered restricted matter under Council's Local Law No. 3 in the Rockhampton Region include:

  • Castor-oil Plant (Ricinus communis)
  • Devil's Apple (Solanum aculeatissimum)
  • Devil's Fig (Solanum torvum)
  • Elephant Grass (Penisetum purpurem)
  • Feral Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala)
  • Lion Tail (Leonotis nepetifloia)
  • Maltese Cockspur (Centaurea melitensis)
  • Sisal (Agava vivpara (var. vivipara and cv. Marginate (sisal), Agava sisalana (sisal/sisal hemp)).
  • Wild Sisal (Furcraea selloa)

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
  • Some weeds have adverse health effects on animal and/or human health

    Landowners are responsible for controlling invasive plants on their property.

    Council’s Pest Management Officers are responsible for controlling invasive plants on Council land. 

    Council can assist landowners to control invasive plants on private land by: 

  • Providing information.  

 For more information on invasive plants visit the Biosecurity Queensland  website, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 07 4932 9000 or 1300 22 55 77.