Our Environment

Weed Management

Break O’Day Drought Weeds Project

Drought Weeds Grants applications closed.

The Break O’Day Council Drought Weeds Project has awarded grant funds to nine weed control projects in the George and Fingal valleys.  All Break O’Day Council Drought Weeds grant funds have been allocated and applications are no longer being received.  

Landholders and farmers can still get support from the Drought Weeds Officer to support Break O’Day farmers with their weed management.  


Following the 2019 drought Break O’Day Council and four other drought-affected councils were offered support from the Tasmanian Government’s Drought and Weed Management Program, part of the Tasmanian Weeds Action Fund.

The focus of the state Drought and Weed Management Program is to tackle weeds that get an advantage from drought conditions and reduce their impacts on agricultural production.  We are working with Biosecurity Tasmania and the four other councils to deliver a coordinated program in Break O’Day during 2020/21.

‘Drought Weeds’ can threaten agricultural productivity

  • through their growth and reproduction, including when drought breaks, to out-compete desirable species or be a danger to stock
  • as a result of farmers needing to prioritise drought relief actions for stock and production over weed control
  • by being newly introduced by activities or conditions during or after drought.

Drought Weeds Support for Farmers

Farmers and landholders are encouraged to use the Break O’Day Drought Weeds Project to plan their weed control programs and future projects generally, including for further funding opportunities such as the Tasmanian Weed Action Fund.

Interested farmers and landholders should contact the Break O’Day Drought Weeds Officer, Peter Headin – pheading@nrmnorth.org.au, mobile 0400 737 253 (Thursdays preferably).


In 2016, Council made the decision to employ a Weed Program Co-ordinator after identifying weed management within the municipality was lacking structure and was considered a priority by the community. This position is dedicated to council owned or managed land only.

The Weed Program Co-ordinator, working within the scope of the BODC Weed Management Plan;

  • Develops an annual weed management program and implements this using a range of treatment methods.
  • Strategically prioritise areas for treatment based on location, natural and economic value, weed species, size of infestation and type of weeds present.
  • Organises and carries out identification of weed infestations including mapping and monitoring as well as areas that are weed free.
  • Controls record management of weed treatments and follow up actions. Engage with landowners and offering advice regarding weed management.

The council weed management program is developed yearly. It is broken down into areas and priorities within those areas and includes:

  • Mapping
  • Monitoring
  • Routine inspections
  • Treatment – specifically and non-specifically (e.g. public notification of infestations)
  • Target weeds – specific problem weeds in certain areas
  • Quarry management
  • Tip Management
  • Hygiene
  • Treatment follow up (when and how)

The program is a working document. This fluidity allows for flexible movement and ad-hoc activities to occur in the changing environment of the municipality. It allows the categorisation of infestations from eradication or containment and seasonality of individual weeds.

Priority weeds in Break O’Day include (from Break O’Day Weed Management Plan):

  • Gorse (Ulex europaeus)
  • Willow (Salix fragilis)
  • Pampas (Cortaderia species)
  • Brooms (Genista monspessulana, Cytisus multiflorus, C. scoparius)
  • Spanish heath (Erica lusitanica)
  • Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera)
  • Bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides)
  • Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus)
  • Any ‘environmental weed’that is deemed to be a high risk of spreading into valuable bushland and other native habitats

We need your help! If you notice a weed in your community we want to know!

If you are not sure whether it is a weed or not you can always check our priority weed list found here.

If you would like to report a weed, please send an email to admin@bodc.tas.gov.au with ‘Weeds’ in the subject line. To help us with our records and treatment plans it would be helpful to include the below information as well;

Name (optional)

Phone number (optional)

Date of observations

Type of weed (if known) or description

Photo (if you have one)

Area where the weed was found

Description of location

Any further information you would like to add?

Below are some of our problem weed species and some basic information on controlling them. These are by no means the only weeds to be concerned about in Break O’Day.  There are others, including species just as important because they are not known to occur here and that we don’t want.

Successful management of weeds requires careful planning, don’t rely on the basic information listed here.  A good place to find more and detailed information on weeds are the Invasive Species webpages of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

The other things to remember are prevention: soil and water ‘hygiene’ and to be vigilant and respond early.  And follow-up: be persistent and diligent with a well planned control program over however many seasons it takes.

The are legal obligations for land owners and managers to not spread and to control weeds that are ‘declared’ in Tasmania under the Weed Management Act 1999.  ‘WONS’ are Weeds of National Significance which are Federal government priorities for management.  There are also ‘environmental weeds’ that pose a significant threat to our native flora and fauna by invading, displacing and degrading native habitats.  Many environmental weeds are not declared weeds, but most declared weeds and WONS are.

View a booklet on coastal weeds of Tasmania here.

Spanish Heath

Erica lusitanica

Status – Declared Weed

Spread – Very small seed by wind, water – and by slashing. Stems can take root (layering).

Treatment – Do not slash flowering plants.  Use physical and chemical control methods, well timed and followed up.  Small plants can be pulled or dug, taking as much root as possible. Covering with weed matting (45 days) may be useful.

Time of treatment – When actively growing and before flowering – March-June.  Avoid when flowers or seed are on plants.


Ulex europaeus

Status – Declared Weed

Spread – Seeds flung from pods and remain viable in soil for many years.

Treatment – Hand pull small plants; cut&paint stumps and spraying.  Mechanical clearing or other physical removal are useful controlling with large infestations.

Time of treatment – Chemical control when actively growing (spring to early summer and after autumn break). Avoid spraying when in flower and when bees are active.


Status – Lawn & pasture weed.

Treatment – Spot spray or dig out

Time of treatment – Best before spring

Sweet Pittosporum

Status – Environmental weed.

Spread –Typically by birds eating berries, so can travel long distances.  Is shade tolerant.

Treatment – Small plants and saplings can be hand pulled and/or dug.  Large plants may need herbicide treatment (cut-stump, frill or drill). Intolerant of regular fire.

Time of treatment – Before fruiting Sept-March

Blue bell creeper (WA)

Bluebell Creeper

Status – Environmental weed

Spread – Typically by birds and other animals eating berries, so can travel long distances.  May also grow from broken roots and branches on ground.

Treatment – Pull out or dig smaller plants.  Larger plants may be better treated with herbicide – cut & paint or spray.  Lookout for escapees in your neighbourhood and in the garden grow the Tasmanian climbing blueberry (Billardiera longiflora) instead.

Time of treatment – When actively growing Sept-Feb (in spring to stop seed production)


Status – Declared Weed

Treatment – Small plants can be dug up (left upside down or burnt), larger plants can be mechanically dug up and spraying can be used.

Time of treatment – small plants all year round. Larger plants Jan-Sept (removing flower head if present


Chrysanthemoides monilifera

Status – Declared Weed/WONS

Spread – Typically by birds eating berries

Treatment – Shallow roots make hand pulling easy.  For large plants cut&paint stumps with chemicals or spray large infestations.

Time of treatment – Before seed-set in late spring or summer, hand pull plants all year.


Status – Declared Weed/WONS

Treatment – Hand pulling for smaller and isolated plants, spraying and cut-steam for mature plants. Stem injection can also be used.

Time of treatment – preferably immature plants before seed production. Other treatments when plant is actively growing (May-Sept).


Status – declared weed

Treatment – Can be dug out or spot spayed. If flowering, remove flowers before treatment

Time of treatment – before flowering July-Jan

Paterson’s Curse

Status – Declared weed

Treatment – Isolated plants can be removed physically ensuring the entire tap root is removed. Spraying for larger infestations

Time of treatment – when actively growing May-Nov

African Boxthorn

Status – declared weed

Treatment – Spaying, cut stump or mechanical removal. Revegetate after removal.

Time of treatment – when actively growing (Sept-May)

Bridal Creeper

Asparagus asparagoides

Status – Declared Weed

Spread – Soil contaminated with rhizomes, tubers and seed.  Birds and other animals eating berries.

Treatment – Spot spraying chemicals. Physical removal for small infestations, ensuring all rhizomes and tubers are bagged securely and destroyed/deep buried.

Time of treatment – winter, early spring (best time)

Mirror Bush

Status – Not declared

Treatment – spraying and cut stump for larger plants. Small plants can be hand pulled

Time of treatment – Best treated between June-Nov

Blue Psoralea

Status – Not declared

Treatment – spraying and cut stump for larger plants. Small plants can be hand pulled

Time of treatment – Best treated between Aug-Sept


Status – Declared Weed/WONS

Treatment – Spaying, cut and paint, slashing (short-term), hand weeding for small plants and best with a combination of treatments.

Time of treatment – best before/or flowering. DO NOT TREAT WHEN FRUITING