Slowing the threat: Targeted tools to tackle the creeping risk of weeds

Today, the Centre is proud to release updates to 21 Weeds of National Significance (WONS) best practice management manuals tackling the most problematic weeds in Australia, including species such as blackberry, lantana, gorse and parkinsonia.

These new WONS management addenda give updated best practice management information for the control, and regulations on use. They are available through the national Weeds Australia portal at

These updated management resources are further supported by the Centre’s new report The status of biological control research for 27 Weeds of National Significance: A summary of past and current biological control research, and directions for future work. This important work was supported by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

While biological controls are an effective approach to weed management in Australia, delivering an overall benefit-cost ratio of 23:1, the report emphasises that long-term investment and retention of research expertise is essential. “Without weed biocontrol many Australian landscapes would still be choked by prickly pear, Paterson’s Curse, bridal creeper and other major weeds,” said Andreas Glanznig, the Centre’s Chief Executive.

“The report highlights that weed biocontrol remains a powerful management tool for many Weeds of National Significance. Biocontrol is cost-effective because it can be used at scale and can help in the management of herbicide resistant weeds,” said Mr Glanznig.

The report will feed into the National Weed Biocontrol Pipeline Strategy: Initial Stages project. The Centre, with CSIRO, three State governments and Wild Matters Pty Ltd, are collaborating to develop a national weed biocontrol priority list of weed targets and research plans, in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders.

The Centre will continue to work with its partners to deliver management solutions that reduce the impact of weeds on Australia’s environment and agricultural productivity.

Key facts:

  • Weeds cause significant impacts to Australia’s environment, livelihood and agricultural productivity with an estimated average cost of nearly $5 billion across Australia every year.
  • A new weed species takes root in Australia every 18 days on average.
  • More than 2,700 introduced plant species are now established in Australia.
  • Weed biocontrol is a proven, safe and sustainable means of managing established weeds that can complement other control methods.

Additional information
The National Weed Biocontrol Pipeline Strategy was co-developed with NSW, Queensland and Victorian government weed biocontrol experts and, following a public consultation phase, was endorsed by the national governmental Environment and Invasives Committee.

This Strategy was developed by members of a cross-jurisdictional Weed Biocontrol Working Group under the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions and coordinated by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. Constructive feedback from the Australian Government, and the Environment and Invasives Committee and its Weeds Working Group are also gratefully acknowledged.

The status of biological control research for 27 Weeds of National Significance: A summary of past and current biological control research, and directions for future work
21 WONS addenda
National Weed Biocontrol Pipeline Strategy
Weeds Australia website –
WeedScan app – WeedScan