Declared Plant Policy under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004




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Declared Plant Policy

under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004
prickly acacia (Acacia nilotica subsp. indica)

Prickly acacia is a woody weed of the arid zone, a thorny tree with the potential to form extensive, impenetrable thickets. There are large infestations in Queensland that extend close to the SA border, and it is believed to have the potential to become a problem in this State.


The power to enforce control of prickly acacia on leasehold land is necessary for Natural Resource Management Boards to implement control programs under the National Strategic Plan for Prickly Acacia.


Management Plan for Prickly Acacia




Outcomes

The northern rangelands and their native vegetation protected from invasion by prickly acacia.




Objectives





  • To contain prickly acacia by eradicating the existing infestation from South Australia.




  • To prevent any further spread of prickly acacia within South Australia.


Implementation

Actions at State level:




  • Prohibition on sale of prickly acacia in South Australia.

Actions at regional level:




  • NRM authorities in the pastoral zone to enforce destruction of spot infestations.



NRM Region

Actions

Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges

Monitor

Alinytjara Wilurara

Limited action (regional alert)

Eyre Peninsula

Limited action (regional alert)

Kangaroo Island

Monitor

Northern and Yorke

Limited action

South Australian Arid Lands

Monitor

South Australian Murray Darling Basin

Limited action

South East

Limited action (regional alert)


Declaration

To implement this policy, prickly acacia is declared under the Natural Resources Management Act, 2004 throughout the whole of the State of South Australia so that any further sale or movement of the plant can be prevented. The movement or transport of the plant on a public road by itself or as a contaminant, its entry to South Australia, or the sale by itself or as a contaminant are prohibited. Notification of infestations is necessary to ensure these are destroyed.


NRM authorities in the Alinytjara Wilurara and SA Arid Lands NRM regions may require land owners to destroy prickly acacia plants on their land. NRM authorities in these regions are required to destroy plants on road reserves.
Prickly acacia is declared in category 1 under the Act for the purpose of setting maximum penalties and for other purposes. Any permit to allow its movement or sale can only be issued by the Chief Officer pursuant to section 188.
The following sections of the Act apply to prickly acacia throughout each of the NRM regions noted below:


Region

Sections of Act



AMLR

AW

EP

KI

NY

SAAL

SAMDB

SE

175(1) Prohibiting entry to area

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

175(2) Prohibiting movement on public roads

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

177(1) Prohibiting sale of the plant

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

177(2) Prohibiting sale of contaminated goods

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

180 Requiring notification of infestations

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

182(1) Landowners to destroy the plant on their properties




X










X







182(2) Landowners to control the plant on their properties

























185 Recovery of control costs on adjoining road reserves


























Review

Success of the program will be measured by the eradication of the currently known outbreak and its effectiveness in preventing any further incursion of prickly acacia into SA. In the event of further widespread discoveries of prickly acacia, application of this policy will be reviewed to achieve containment using the most appropriate method.


This policy is to be reviewed by 2020, or in the event of a change in the status of prickly acacia as a Weed of National Significance.

Weed Risk
Invasiveness
The summer rainfall tropical zone of Australia, extending into the subtropics of Queensland and the North Western Plains of NSW, is suitable for prickly acacia; the pastoral zone of SA is regarded as marginal habitat for this species. While prickly acacia poses a medium risk across the whole rangeland, certain environments such as riparian zones are vulnerable.

Impacts
In the areas where it grows, prickly acacia can form extensive, impenetrable thickets that compete with more desirable rangeland vegetation, hinder stock access to water and make mustering difficult.
Potential distribution
Due to the large infestations of prickly acacia in Queensland close to the border, there is an ongoing risk of further incursions.

Feasibility of Containment
Control costs
Herbicides are available to destroy prickly acacia. The remoteness of the site of incursion in the north-east of the State makes access the main component of control costs.
Persistence
Prickly acacia is present in a very limited area, and eradication of this population is feasible. Local eradication actions are the most cost-effective way to prevent spread to sites at risk.
As well as a seed bank of long lived seeds, prickly acacia regenerates vigorously from basal buds.
Current distribution
There are large infestations in Queensland that extend close to the SA border, and it is believed to have the potential to become a problem in the northern parts of this State. Prickly acacia is easy to eradicate from South Australia, where it currently occurs as one small known population.
Prickly acacia is not sold in the retail trade, and is not regarded as a useful amenity tree.


State Level Risk Assessment

Assessment using the Biosecurity SA Weed Risk Management System gave the following comparative weed risk and feasibility of containment scores by land use:




Land use


Weed Risk

Feasibility of control

Response at State Level


Grazing - rangeland

medium

59


very high

1


contain spread

alert



Considerations

Prickly acacia is a Weed of National Significance, and one of the three prickle bush weeds of concern in semi-arid Australia. It was introduced to Australia in the 1890s and promoted as a shade tree and for forage in tropical Queensland. The summer rainfall tropical zone of Australia, extending into the subtropics of Queensland and the North Western Plains of NSW, is suitable for prickly acacia; the pastoral zone of SA is regarded as marginal habitat for this species.


Risk assessment at the State level indicates a management action of containment, with prickly acacia treated as an alert species to prevent its spread into rangelands. Containment is supported by declaration for mandatory destruction in the two NRM regions that include the northern rangelands.
Within South Australia, there is at present a single confirmed population of prickly acacia at Cordillo Downs in the South Australian Arid Lands. Prickly acacia was also collected in 1987 beside an old outstation near Stirling North in the Northern and Yorke Natural Resource Management region, but cannot now be relocated at that site.
Like many other Acacia species, prickly acacia contains the compound dimethyltryptamine, and its cultivation is therefore prohibited by current regulations under the Controlled Substances Act 1984.
Synonymy
Acacia nilotica (L.) Delile subsp. indica (Benth.)Brenan, Kew Bulletin 12: 84 (1957)
Basionym: Acacia arabica var. indica Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 500 (1842)
Other common names include babul, gum arabic tree, prickly mimosa and Winton prickle bush.

References
Agriculture & Resource Management Council of Australia & New Zealand Australia & New Zealand Environment & Conservation Council and Forestry Ministers (2001) 'Weeds of National Significance Prickly Acacia (Acacia nilotica subsp.indica) Strategic Plan.' (National Weeds Strategy Executive Committee: Launceston)
Spies, P. & March, N. (2004) ‘Prickly Acacia National Case Studies Manual’. (Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy: Cloncurry).


Hon Ian Hunter MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation
Date: 28 July 2014



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