Weed and Pest Management

Prickly Acacia Weed Management Program

The Southern Gulf NRM region is divided into 12 prickly acacia management zones, essentially sub-catchment based except for Zone 1 – Lower Gulf which is a multi-catchment. All zones were impacted to varying degrees, mostly significantly deleterious, by the high rainfall Monsoon trough event of February 2019 involving extensive flooding and sustained inundation. These events have brought about a massive spread of prickly acacia seed and subsequent regrowth in areas under previous treatment and in new areas.  If left untreated this growth would potentially result in prickly acacia infestations on an unprecedented scale. The program’s aim is to lessen the impact of prickly acacia on primary producers and the environment.

The program involves on-ground funding of almost $1,500,000 over the period of April 2020 to 30 June 2024. The majority of projects involve treatment of flood-dispersed prickly acacia regrowth over the black soils plains with their associated waterways. Projects employ a variety of methods including aerial spreading of tebuthiuron herbicide to dense infestations, helicopter-mounted weed sniper applying pelleted herbicide to widely scattered infestations on lower Gulf properties, ground-applied tebuthiuron pellets in open downs country, basal spraying near native vegeation and along waterways, and some mechanical clearing of dense stands. 

In 2022-23, Southern Gulf and landowners or managers signed agreements for 19 projects on properties in eight of the 12 management zones. Projects were funded to the value of $307,958. The projects which have completed contributed in-kind labour and cash amounting to $874,723 and treated prickly acacia over an area of 78,000 hectares. 

The project will end on 30 June 2024 with the final 35 projects either completed or set to complete by the end of April 2024.

 The Australian Government’s North Queensland flood recovery effort through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.