Alligator Weed - Statutory Weed Management Plan

Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb.

Interpretation:

In this weed management plan (approved 30 August 2003):
  • "Act" means the Weed Management Act 1999.
  • "Approved quarantine place" means a place approved by the Secretary under section 70 of the Plant Quarantine Act 1997 for the purpose of examining any prescribed matter imported into or to be exported out of the State.
  • "Court fine' means a prescribed penalty for breaches against the Act. Court fines may be imposed if a person is convicted of any offence against the Act.
  • "DPIWE" means the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Tasmania.
  • "Infringement fine" means a prescribed penalty for breaches against the Act. Infringement fines are imposed by way of an infringement notice that may be issued by a Weed Inspector.
  • "Inspector" means a Weed Inspector appointed under section 34 of the Act.
  • "Penalty unit" means the basic unit of the fine for which persons who fail to comply with any prohibition or requirement under the Act may be liable. One penalty unit equals $100 at April 2002.
  • "Biosecurity Tasmania" means that branch of the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment that, in cooperation with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, maintains both overseas and interstate biosecurity barriers for this state.
  • "Regional Weed Management Officer" means a person employed in the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment under that specific title.
  • "Regulations" means the Weed Management Regulations 2000.
  • "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.
  • "Alligator weed" means Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. (syn. Achyranthes philoxeroides, Bucholzia philoxeroides, Telanthera philoxeroides) and includes the whole plant or plant parts, live or dead.

1. Purpose of this management plan:

The purpose of this weed management plan for alligator weed is to:
  • Provide direction upon the implementation of the Act with respect to alligator weed.
  • Specify measures to prevent the establishment and spread of alligator weed in Tasmania.

2. Area covered by this management plan:

The State of Tasmania is covered by this weed management plan.

3. Description and distribution of the weed:

Alligator weed is mat-forming herb that causes major damage in freshwater aquatic and semi-aquatic environments in several Australian mainland locations. The Information Sheet - Alligator weed contains a summary of the weed issues generated by this plant and further information is available from Regional Weed Management Officers.

There are no known naturalised alligator weed populations in Tasmania. However, the plant has been recorded in domestic gardens in both the north and south of the state.

4. Importation of declared weed:

(1) A person must not import or allow to be imported into Tasmania any alligator weed.

It is an offence against section 57(1) of the Act to fail to comply with this prohibition. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted in court of that offence may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

The Secretary may exempt a person from this prohibition under section 60 of the Act.

To avoid committing this offence, actions including but not limited to the following should be undertaken:
  • Persons travelling to Tasmania, in particular from areas infested with alligator weed should conduct thorough searches for the presence of the plant and apply appropriate hygiene measures, such as vehicle, boat and baggage cleaning. In particular, any mud or water taken from infested areas should be removed prior to entering Tasmania. Questions or concerns about hygiene issues should be directed to Quarantine Tasmania personnel before or directly upon disembarkation in Tasmania.
  • Persons importing items to Tasmania that may contain alligator weed should have these checked for the presence of the plant. This can be arranged through Quarantine Tasmania.
  • Persons importing vegetables or herbs for any reason should verify that the species they are importing do not include alligator weed. Importers should discuss the issue with suppliers. Plant identification queries may be referred to a Regional Weed Management Officer.
  • Persons importing aquarium or pond plants should verify that the species they are importing do not include alligator weed. As plant labels are sometimes ambiguous or in error, these should not be relied upon for verification of a plant's identity. Plant identification queries may be referred to a Regional Weed Management Officer.
  • Persons importing aquarium or pond fish or other freshwater animals should also check that the water used for transporting these organisms does not contain alligator weed material.
  • Persons importing boats or boating equipment (eg. nets, outboards) should check that these items have been thoroughly cleaned so that no plant material adheres to any part.
  • Persons buying imported herb, vegetable, aquarium or pond products (including mail-order and internet purchases) should keep comprehensive records of their transactions, including the contact details of the supplier and date of purchase.
  • Persons importing livestock to Tasmania should liaise with suppliers on the subject of possible alligator weed contamination, particularly in mud attached to hooves of stock or to the feathers and feet of waterfowl.

5. Procedures for notification of the occurrence of the weed:

Inspectors shall notify a Regional Weed Management Officer of any alligator weed occurrences. The Regional Weed Management Officer will then check the identity of the plant and if alligator weed is confirmed the Principal Weed Management Officer will initiate a weed incursion response.

6. Sale of declared weed:

A person must not sell or otherwise distribute any alligator weed or any thing carrying alligator weed.

It is an offence against section 56 of the Act to fail to comply with this prohibition. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted in court of that offence may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

The Secretary may exempt a person from this prohibition under section 60 of the Act.

To avoid committing this offence, actions including but not limited to the following, should be undertaken:
  • Persons giving away, bartering, selling or otherwise distributing vegetables and herbs should take steps to ensure that the plants in their possession do not include alligator weed. This applies in particular to persons dealing in plants used in Asian cuisine.
  • Persons selling, swapping or otherwise distributing aquarium or pond plants should verify that the plants in their possession do not include alligator weed. Plant labels that accompany aquarium or pond plants and advice from suppliers should not be relied upon absolutely for identification purposes. Any plant identification queries may be referred to a Regional Weed Management Officer.

7. Measures to reduce the number of alligator weed plants, eradicate alligator weed from an area or restrict alligator weed to a particular area:

An inspector may, by serving a notice on the owner of a place, require that owner to implement any of the measures described in this part of the weed management plan or any other measures consistent with it.

It is an offence against section 13(3) of the Act to fail to comply with a requirement notice issued by an Inspector. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 8 penalty units. A person convicted of that offence in court may be liable to a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding 5 penalty units for each day during which the offence continues.

To avoid committing this offence, actions including but not limited to the following, should be undertaken:
  • Persons growing vegetables and herbs for personal consumption, distribution to friends and relatives or, for sale should ensure that their plant stock does not include alligator weed.
  • Persons maintaining aquarium or pond plants or propagating them for distribution should take steps to ensure that their plant stock does not include alligator weed. These steps include purchasing from reputable suppliers, checking that plant purchases do not include incidental, unknown plants and having any suspect plants identified by a Regional Weed Management Officer.
  • A person wishing to dispose of alligator weed or any thing contaminated with alligator weed should notify a Weed Inspector or a Regional Weed Management Officer first, in order to receive direction and advice upon how best to do this.

8. Storage in a specified area of any thing contaminated with the declared weed:

Any thing found to be contaminated with alligator weed may be removed to storage at an appropriate quarantine approved place. A Regional Weed Management Officer will determine whether removal to storage at any of these facilities or treatment/destruction of material in situ is most appropriate.

Failure to comply with this requirement is an offence against section 51(1) of the Act. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted of that offence in court will be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

The Secretary may exempt a person from this requirement under section 60 of the Act.

To avoid committing this offence, actions including but not limited to the following, should be undertaken:
  • A person who discovers or suspects he/she possesses any thing, (eg. aquarium, pond or aquaculture supplies, soil, vegetables or herbs) contaminated with alligator weed should contact an Inspector or a Regional Weed Management Officer without delay. The contaminated thing should not be moved, disturbed, treated or disposed of prior to making this contact. If alligator weed is confirmed, the person will be directed and advised in the proper management, including disposal, of the contaminated thing.

9. Any other measures the Minister considers appropriate to control the weed:

There are no other measures appropriate for the management of alligator weed in Tasmania at this time.

10. Exemptions:

Persons wishing to gain exemption from any of provisions of the Act that relate to alligator weed should contact a Regional Weed Management Officer to discuss the reasons for seeking the exemption and obtain an exemption application form.

Persons granted an exemption should ensure they understand fully, any conditions specified in the exemption. Queries can be directed to a Regional Weed Management Officer.

11. Review of this weed management plan:

A review of this weed management plan may be undertaken at least once every five years if it is necessary and desirable to do so. The review will incorporate consultation with stakeholders deemed appropriate by the Secretary, DPIWE.


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