National Management Group endorses Red Witchweed Response Plan

4 June 2015

The National Management Group (NMG), comprising all Australian governments and the Cattle Council of Australia, Grain Producers Australia and CANEGROWERS met on 4 June 2015 and agreed to endorse the ten year response plan for the eradication of red witchweed (Striga asiatica) prepared by the Queensland Government in consultation with industry.

The eradication response is led by the Queensland Government. The response which is not covered by existing national response arrangements brings industry and government organisations together to cost share on a 50:50 per cent basis the eradication of this agricultural weed pest. This demonstrates industry and government commitment to taking action to protect Australia’s environment and agricultural sectors from this exotic weed pest.

Acting on advice from the Consultative Committee for Red Witchweed (CCRW), the NMG agreed that it is technically feasible and cost beneficial to eradicate red witchweed in Australia. Red witchweed is a parasitic plant that grows attached to the roots of certain commercially important grasses and summer cereals, including sorghum, corn (maize), rice and sugarcane.

The NMG has endorsed a ten year response plan of up to $5.8 million (2015-16 to 2024-25) to eradicate red witchweed. The NMG has endorsed the allocation of $4.18 million for the initial intensive three year phase of the response to 30 June 2018. An independent review of the effectiveness of the first phase of the response will be completed by 30 June 2018 to ensure the response is efficient and meeting its objectives.

As the response plan is not covered by a national response arrangement the contributing government and industry organisations will seek formal approval for the funding arrangement through the Australian Agricultural Ministers Forum and company boards respectively.

The NMG for red witchweed is comprised of the chief executive officers, or their delegates, of national and state/territory departments of agriculture/primary industries across Australia, along with executive officers from the Cattle Council of Australia, Grain Producers Australia and CANEGROWERS. Representatives of Animal Health Australia and Plant Health Australia also attend NMG meetings as the custodian to the respective animal disease and plant pest national response arrangements. The group is chaired by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

The CCRW is comprised of senior delegates of national and state/territory departments of agriculture/primary industries across Australia, industry and representatives of Animal Health Australia and Plant Health Australia.

Further information

Further information is available at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

If you suspect red witchweed on your property please contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or report via the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881

Last reviewed:
09 Jun 2015