Weeds and pest animals

Rabbit sitting beside some grass

There are a large number of pest plant and animal species that are having an impact on Indigo Shire’s unique natural environment and our economy. Well known examples include Blackberry, Patterson’s Curse, foxes and rabbits. Lesser known examples are Serrated Tussock and Chilean Needle Grass.

Under Victorian legislation, a species of plant or animal can be declared as a noxious weed or pest animal in Victoria if it has (or might have) the potential to become a serious threat to:

  • primary production
  • Crown land
  • the environment
  • community health

What is Indigo Shire Council's role in controlling weeds?

Indigo Shire Council is responsible for controlling weeds and pest animals on property we own and manage, including Council-managed roadsides and reserves. 

Council undertakes an annual roadside weed control program that covers its 1,300 km roadside network and this program is jointly funded by Indigo Shire Council and the Victorian Government’s Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. 

 The focus of this program is Regionally Prohibited Weeds and Regionally Controlled Weeds.

We work closely with our contractors G&T Weed Management and Grays Farm Friends, who have been controlling weeds across the Shire for a number of years and we rely on their expertise to locate weeds and use the most appropriate removal methods.

Regionally Prohibited Weeds 

These weeds are not widely distributed in a region but are capable of spreading further. It is reasonable to expect that they can be eradicated from a region and they must be managed with that goal. Land owners, including councils, must take all reasonable steps to eradicate regionally prohibited weeds on their land.

Khaki Weed

Example of a Regionally Prohibited Weed in Indigo Shire - Khaki Weed (Alternanthera pungens) near Rutherglen.

 Serrated Tussock grass    Serrated Tussock grass

 Example of Regionally Prohibited Weed and a Weed of National Significance (WONS) - Serrated Tussock (Nassella trichotoma) in Rutherglen.

Regionally Controlled Weeds

These weeds are usually widespread in a region. To prevent their spread, ongoing control measures are required. Land owners have the responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the growth and spread of regionally controlled weeds on their land.

English Broom flower

Example of a Regionally Controlled Weed in Indigo Shire - English Broom (Cytisus scoparius) in Beechworth.

St John's Wort plant

Example of a Regionally Controlled Weed in Indigo Shire – St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) in Rutherglen.

Other noxious weeds

Indigo Shire Council’s roadside weed control program also targets other declared noxious weeds including Weeds of National Significance (WONS), Restricted Weeds, Unclassified Environmental Weeds, and New and Emerging Weeds.

Bridal Creeper weed

Example of a Weed of National Significance – Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides)

Chilean Needle Grass    Chilean Needle Grass differs from native spear grasses by having a corona between the head and the stem.

 Example of a Weed of National Significance - Chilean Needle Grass (Nassella  neesiana) in Rutherglen.

Indigo Shire Council’s weed control work on roadsides and reserves is primarily undertaken by licenced and experienced contractors, who are certified and trained in the safe use of chemicals. Landcare groups in Indigo Shire are consulted on the priority roads to include in the program each year. If you would like to report a weed or pest animal infestation on a council roadside or reserve please call (03) 5728 8000.

Ox-eye daisy flower

Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Ox-eye daisy is a declared noxious weed that is a quickly emerging issue in Indigo Shire. To the untrained eye the plant looks like a typical white and yellow daisy. But this weed spreads quickly and forms dense stands in agricultural areas and in native vegetation. It is unpalatable to livestock and reduces carrying capacity in pastures. It also outcompetes native plants, threatening higher quality habitat and endangered plant species. A native plant in Europe and parts of Asia, Ox-eye daisy is rapidly spreading through large areas of high rainfall country including Kosciuszko National Park. The species is spread by plant parts and seeds moved by water, animals, vehicles, equipment (e.g. movers), and contaminated produce. Each plant can produce up to 26,000 seeds each summer. The weed wasn’t recorded in Indigo Shire until the 2000’s, and is now spreading on different land tenures including Council roadsides - particularly throughout Stanley and Beechworth. Like other noxious weeds, Council has a responsibility to undertake control works to reduce the spread. We undertake this work engaging qualified and experienced contractors.

Find out more about this weed at: https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/OxeyeDaisy

What noxious weeds occur in Indigo Shire?

The following is a list of declared weeds found in Indigo Shire, and their category. 

Common Name Scientific Name Weed Category 
African Boxthorn Lycium ferocissimum  Regionally Controlled   
African Lovegrass Eragrostis curvula  Regionally Controlled
Arrowhead  Saggittaria graminea  Agricultural and Environmental   
Bathurst Burr
Xanthium spinosum    Regionally Controlled   
Rubus fruticosus 
Weed of National Significance, Regionally Controlled, Regional Priority 
Blue Periwinkle 
Vinca major    Unclassified Environmental   
Bridal Creeper 
Asparagus asparagoides     Weed of National Significance, Restricted 
Box Elder 
Acer negundo    Unclassified Environmental   
Broad-leaf Privet 
Ligustrum lucidum    Unclassified Environmental   
Tribulus terrestris     
Regionally Controlled   
Cape Tulip  Moraea flaccida & M. miniata     Regionally Controlled 
Chilean Needle Grass 
Nassella  neesiana    Weed of National Significance, Restricted, New and Emerging Weed   
English Broom 
Cytisus scoparius  Regionally Controlled, Regional Priority   
English Ivy 
Hedera helix    Unclassified Environmental   
False Acacia
Robinia pseudoacacia      Unclassified Environmental   
Ficus carica  Unclassified Environmental   
Giant Reed 
Arundo donax    Unclassified Environmental   
Ulex europaeus  Weed of National Significance, Regionally Controlled, Regional Priority   
Great Mullein 
Verbascum thapsus  Regionally Controlled   
Crataegus monogvna  Regionally Controlled   
Himalayan Honeysuckle  Leycesteria formosa  Agricultural and Environmental   
Lonicera japonica    Unclassified Environmental   
Marrubium vulgare  Regionally Controlled 
Jerusalem Cherry  Solanum pseudocapsicum    Unclassified Environmental 
Khaki weed
Alternanthera pungens Kunth     Regionally prohibited in the North East 
Lantana    Lantana camara  Weed of National Significance, Restricted   
Large-leaf Contoneaster   Cotoneaster glaucophyllus  Unclassified Environmental 
Lombardy Poplar   Polulus nigra  Unclassified Environmental   
Montpellier Broom   Genista monspessulana  Regionally Controlled  
Noogoora Burr  Xanthium occidentale    Regionally Controlled, Regional Priority 
Orange Firethorn  Pyracantha angustiflora    Unclassified Environmental 
Olive  Olea europaea ssp. Europaea    Unclassified Environmental 
Osage Orange  Maclura pomifera  Unclassified Environmental   
Ox-eye daisy  Leucanthemum vulgare  Declared Noxious Weed 
Pampus Grass
Cortaderia selloana & C. jubata    Unclassified Environmental   
Pampas Lilly-of-the-Valley  Salpichroa origanifolia    Unclassified Environmental   
Paterson’s Curse   Echium plantagineum    Regionally Controlled  
Pennyroyal  Mentha pulegium    Unclassified Environmental   
Peppercorn Tree 
Schinus areira    Unclassified Environmental 
Prairie Ground Cherry Physalis viscose  Regionally Prohibited, Regional Priority 
Prickly Pear  Opuntia vulgaris & O. stricta  Regionally Controlled 
Purple Top  Verbena bonariensis  Unclassified Environmental 
Radiata Pine  Pinus radiata  Unclassified Environmental   
Serrated Tussock  Nassella trichotoma    Weed of National Significance, Regionally Prohibited, New and Emerging Weed 
Sheep Sorrell  Acetosella vulgaris  Unclassified Environmental   
Silver-leaf Nightshade  Solanum elaeagnifolium  Regionally Prohibited, New and Emerging Weed 
Small- leaf privet  Ligustrum vulgare  Unclassified Environmental 
Soursob  Oxalis pes-caprae    Unclassified Environmental 
Spanish Heath  Erica lusitanica    Unclassified Environmental   
Spear thistle  Cirsium vulgare 
St John’s Wort
Hypericum perforatum  Regionally Controlled  
Sweet Briar  Rosa rubiginosa  Regionally Controlled 
Sycamore Maple  Acer pseudoplatanus  Unclassified Environmental 
Thornapples  Datura spp  Regionally Controlled  
Tree Lucerne  Chamaecytisus proliferus  Unclassified Environmental 
Tree of Heaven  Ailanthus altissima  Regionally Controlled 
Willows  Salix spp  Weed of National Significance, Restricted 
Wild Gladiolus  Gladiolus undulates  Unclassified Environmental 
Wild Watsonia  Watsonia meriana var. bulbililfera  Regionally Controlled 
Wheel cactus  Opuntia robusta  Regionally Controlled 

These weed species were recorded during mapping of Council’s roadsides in 2020. Other declared weed species not on this list are likely to also occur in Indigo Shire.




Chilean Needle Grass

Chilean Needle Grass (Nassella neesiana) will be targeted throughout November and December 2023 by our weed contractors. It is a serious noxious weed in Indigo Shire, classified as a Weed of National Significance (WONS), Restricted, New and Emerging Weed.

The focus of control efforts is Council’s road network, particularly in the western part of the Shire where it is most prevalent. Now is a great time to identify the grass by its light and bright green foliage and flowering heads that contain dark seeds that are starting to form.

It is often confused with native grasses (e.g. Spear Grasses), however most native grasses have already started to drop their seed whereas Chilean Need Grass seed is still yet to fully form and will stay on the plant for a few more weeks.

The other tell-tale identifying feature of Chilean Needle Grass is a visible ring (called a corona) at the base of the seed. Native grasses do not have this ring.

If you have seen Chilean Needle Grass on Council’s roadside please report it by calling 1300 365 003. If you are slashing please avoid Chilean Needle Grass and maintain good vehicle and machinery hygiene.   

Chilean Needle Grass plant

Chestnut Blight

Chestnut blight is a disease of chestnut and oak trees that is present in Victoria. It is caused by a fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) that grows underneath the bark, resulting in degraded or dead tissue (cankers) that slowly develop and surround the infected trunk, stem or branch. Once a tree is infected, the prognosis is bleak – the tree will eventually die.

In Australia, chestnut blight primarily infects chestnut and oak trees. These are referred to as “host” trees.

Chestnut blight poses a significant risk to Australia’s chestnut industry, approximately 70 per cent of which is produced in Victoria. Once present, the disease can remain dormant for many years before symptoms become visible, making it very difficult to detect and eradicate.

The Industry Biosecurity Officer (Chestnuts Australia Incorporated) can provide support to chestnut growers across Australia regarding surveillance, suspected detections and management of chestnut blight. Growers are encouraged to contact the Industry Biosecurity Officer for further advice.

Growers are our first line of defence.

All chestnut growers are asked to remain vigilant and survey their chestnut and oak trees every three months for signs of this devastating disease. If you suspect that you have found chestnut blight, report it immediately to:

•     the Industry Biosecurity Officer (Chestnuts Australia Incorporated) at ibo@chestnutsaustralia.com.au (if you are located within Victoria), or

•     the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 (if you are located outside Victoria).

Useful links can be found below.

Guide to managing Chestnut Blight(PDF, 2MB)

Chestnut Blight surveillance form(PDF, 71KB)



What are your responsibilities when using herbicides?

Whilst herbicides are often used to eradicate or reduce the spread of noxious weeds, it is critical that herbicides are used safely by everyone.

STOP! Used incorrectly and in the wrong conditions, the herbicide you are using could have catastrophic impacts on a neighbour’s organic farm, winery or other enterprise.

There are strict legal controls on herbicide use under the Catchment and Land Protections Act 1994. It is the responsibility of the user to be familiar with this legislation. 

This includes requirements for keeping records of chemical applications, which includes product trade name, date the product was used, application rate of the product, weed species treated, location, wind speed and direction, name and contact details of the person/s applying the herbicide. These records must be made within 48 hours of using an agricultural chemical product, and must be kept for two years from the date of use.

Herbicides are registered for specific uses. Each herbicide has a 'product label', which details the approved use and the approved rate of use. The product label must be followed by users at all times.

Other controls include the requirement to possess an Agricultural Chemical User Permit (ACUP) to allow use of certain chemical products and restrictions of use of certain chemical products in agricultural chemical control areas.

Choose only products registered for use in your particular situation. Read the product label carefully and follow all label instructions.

Chemical retailers can provide information on chemical products registered for your situation. They can also supply a 'material safety data sheet (MSDS)' which outlines the health and safety information about a product. This information is also available from chemical manufacturers and product labels are available from Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. Before spraying, consider the weather conditions and proximity to:

  • native vegetation
  • vineyards
  • organically grown crops
  • waterways
  • other sensitive areas

Controlling weeds and pest animals on your property

Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, public and private landowners have a legal responsibility to control weeds on their property. Reasonable steps must be taken to remove regionally prohibited weeds and to prevent the growth and spread of regionally controlled weeds.

Visit Agriculture Victoria for more information about legal responsibilities for managing weeds and pest animals.

Complaints about noxious weed issues on a neighbor's property

No-one likes living next door to a property that is being overrun by weeds. It’s common knowledge that weeds don’t respect property boundaries, and the efforts of diligent landholders can be undone if there isn’t a shared commitment of neighbours to keep weeds under control.

If you have a complaint about a weed or pest animal on a neighbouring property, we advise you to first have a friendly chat with your neighbour about your concerns. If it can't be resolved that way, the next course of action is to escalate your concern to Agriculture Victoria who has the authority to enforce weed control legislation. Phone 136 186 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

Indigo Shire Council does not have enforcement powers with respect to noxious weed control on private property.


A great way to record sightings is RabbitScan. This is a free resource for landholders and other community members of Indigo Shire to share rabbit activity, warrens, damage, and control activities in our shire. RabbitScan can also be used to record rabbit numbers and evidence of disease. You can add records to the RabbitScan website or download the app and add records using your smartphone. It is quick and easy and helps Council to gather data on the amount and locations of rabbits across Indigo Shire.

European wasps

European wasps are an introduced pest species, and have negative impacts on agriculture, tourism and biodiversity. European wasps are also a regular nuisance in summer and autumn, hovering around food sources and sometimes stinging people.
Controlling European wasps needs a combined approach, with everyone playing their part. Landholders are responsible for controlling pest species on their land. Council controls wasps on Council land, and you can help by controlling wasps on your land. Community groups in towns across the Shire have joined the campaign as "wasp busters" working with the Shire and professional pest controllers to trial coordinated efforts to control wasps. If you would like to join this group, or need further information, please contact environment staff at Council. For more information, see our fact sheets on Managing Wasps(PDF, 217KB)  and Identifying Wasps(PDF, 409KB)

For more information about noxious weeds and pest animals visit Agriculture Victoria


Summer, especially a wet summer, can mean more mosquito biting and breeding, including the ones that can carry diseases that make you sick.

Learn how to beat the bite and protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne disease by heading to the Better Health website.