August 11, 2013
With border inspectors on high alert this harvest season, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has called on farmers and contractors to help prevent the spread of parthenium weed into NSW. DPI invasive species officer, Phil Blackmore, said NSW farmers using contract harvesters from Queensland should insist on seeing the border inspection certificate. “The certificate means that the equipment has undergone inspection by DPI border staff and includes a declaration by the operator that the header and associated equipment has been cleaned as required by the Noxious Weeds Regulation,” Mr Blackmore said. “Parthenium weed outbreaks in NSW have been linked to improved seasonal conditions in Queensland and border inspections reduce the risk of parthenium entering NSW. “The strategy has worked well and there are no known established populations of parthenium weed in NSW.” DPI border inspectors at Goondiwindi, Tallwood, Mungindi and Hebe will conduct strict inspections of harvesting equipment brought in from Queensland to ensure compliance with established clean-down procedures. Inspections are conducted during daylight hours and operators should give 24 hours notice to avoid delays. Headers, including the comb or front, augers, field bins, low-loaders carrying headers and pilot vehicles accompanying the header, require inspection. Operators who need to clean machinery at the border will be able to use air compressors at Goondiwindi, Mungindi and Hebel and wet pads for wash-down at Goondiwindi and Mungindi. As a NSW Class 1 Prohibited Weed, parthenium plants which are found in NSW must be reported to the DPI Hotline, 1800 680 244, or local council weeds officers. The noxious weed erodes productivity by dominating pastures and emerging crops and harbouring plant disease – parthenium also poses a threat to human health. The DPI works closely with the Queensland Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry to stop the spread of parthenium into southern Queensland and NSW.