Pest plants and weeds

Our local environment is rich and diverse, supporting natural systems, pastures, plantations and gardens. Environmental pests and weeds can destroy the natural diversity of the region.

Some can aggravate health problems such as asthma. Others are poisonous to horses and cattle. Environmental weeds that have been considered a serious enough threat to warrant their control under legislation are termed “declared pest plants” (formerly termed “noxious plant” or “noxious weed”).


Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, A landowner has a general biosecurity obligation to take reasonable steps to keep their land free of declared pests plants. Local authorities and government departments are required to control declared pest plants on land under their control.

Council Responsibilities

Council is currently drafting a Biosecurity Plan and is committed to the control of declared pest plants within the region. The plan includes strategies and information for the local community.

Landowner and resident responsibilities

Landowners have a general biosecurity obligation to control declared pest plants on their land. Council staff can assist with identifying weeds found on your property and the supply of relevant fact sheets or booklets (Weeds of Southern Queensland).

Pest plants and weeds


Pest plants affect the lives of all Queenslanders. They degrade our natural resources, damage precious remnant vegetation, compromise biodiversity and interfere with human health and recreation.

The Biosecurity Act

The Biosecurity Act 2014 (the Act) commenced on 1 July 2016 and ensures a consistent, modern, risk-based and less prescriptive approach to biosecurity in Queensland.

The Act provides comprehensive biosecurity measures to safeguard our economy, agricultural and tourism industries, environment and way of life from:

  • Pests (e.g. wild dogs and weeds)
  • Diseases (e.g. foot-and-mouth disease)
  • Contaminants (e.g. lead on grazing land).

The Act replaced the many separate pieces of legislation previously used to manage biosecurity. Decisions made under the Act will depend on the likelihood and consequences of the risk. This means risks can be managed more appropriately.

Fire Ant Biodiversity Zone Changes as at 1 Sept 2022

As at 1 September, 2022, the Scenic Rim region will be affected by Fire Ant biosecurity zone changes under the National Fire Ant Eradication Program. Changes will apply to the Scenic Rim local goverment area and will apply especially to anyone working with or moving organic materials to help prevent the spread of fire ants. Penalties apply to individual and businesses who do not comply with legal requirements of checking that materials received or being carried are fire ant-free.

Fire ants are highly mobile and adaptable and are normally found in materials such as soil, hay, mulch, manure, quarry products, turf and potted plants sourced from inside the zones.

Read more about the upcoming zone changes here to find out how they affect you.

Generally Not Established

The plants are not generally established in Queensland. They have the potential to cause adverse economic, environmental or social impact if introduced. It is a serious offence to introduce, keep or supply these plants

Plants that have been identified in the region previously (and eradicated):

  • Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides)
  • Honey locust tree  (Gleditsia spp. including cultivars and varieties)
  • Hygrophila (Hygrophila costata)
  • Miconia (Miconia spp.)
  • Senegal tea (Gymnocoronis spilanthoides)

Established in Queensland

These plants are established in Queensland. They have, or could have, an adverse economic, environmental or social impact. Landowners must take reasonable steps to keep their land free of these plants.

Plants that have been identified as existing within the Scenic Rim region:

  • African boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum)
  • American rat’s tail grass (Sporobolus jacquemontii)
  • Annual ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
  • Cabomba (Cabomba spp.)
  • Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis)
  • Giant Parramatta grass (Sporobolus fertilis)
  • Giant rat’s tail grass (Sporobolus pyramidalis and S. natalensis)
  • Groundsel bush (Baccharis halimifolia)
  • Mother of millions (Bryophyllum delagoense and B. daigremontianum x B. delagoense; Syn.Bryophyllum tubiflorum and B. daigremontianum x B. tubiflorum)
  • Parramatta grass (Sporobolus africanus)
  • Parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus)
  • Prickly acacia (Acacia nilotica)
  • Prickly pear (Opuntia spp. other than O. ficus-indica)
  • Salvinia (Salvinia molesta)
  • Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
  • Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)

Existing and Established in Queensland

These plants are established in Queensland. They have, or could have, an adverse economic, environmental or social impact. It is a serious offence to supply these plants in Queensland.

Plants that have been identified as existing within the Scenic Rim region:

  • African tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata)
  • Aristolochia or Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia spp. other than native species) 
  • Asparagus fern (Asparagus aethiopicus ‘Sprengeri’, A. africanus and A. plumosus)
  • Athel pine (Tamarix aphylla)
  • Balloon vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum)
  • Blackberry (Rubus anglocandicans, Rubus fruticosus agg.)
  • Broad-leaved pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius)
  • Camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)
  • Captain Cook tree / Yellow Oleander (Thevetia peruviana)
  • Cat’s claw vine (Macfadyena unguis-cati)
  • Chinese celtis (Celtis sinensis)
  • Lantana (all species) (Lantana spp.)
  • Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia) 
  • Privets (Ligustrum lucidum and L. sinense)
  • Singapore daisy (Sphagneticola trilobata)
  • Tortured willow (Salix matsudana) 
  • Yellow bells (Tecoma stans)