Weeds in Australia

About weeds

Weeds of National Significance

Thirty two Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) have been agreed by Australian governments based on an assessment process that prioritised these weeds based on their invasiveness, potential for spread and environmental, social and economic impacts. Consideration was also given to their ability to be successfully managed. A list of 20 WoNS was endorsed in 1999 and a further 12 were added in 2012.

Information on the selection process is available on the Weeds Australia website.

Managing WONS

Landowners and land managers at all levels are responsible for managing WoNS. State and territory governments are responsible for legislation, regulation and administration of weeds.

The WoNS were selected as they require coordination among all levels of government, organisations and individuals with weed management responsibilities.

A strategic plan for each WoNS was developed to define responsibilities and identify strategies and actions to control the weed species. Coordination of these plans at a national level improves linkages between research and on-going control, and encourages commitment from a wide range of stakeholders.

There are three phases of national management for WoNS. In phases one and two, each WoNS has a Management Coordinator and a National Management Group/Steering Committee to oversee implementation of the goals and actions of the WoNS strategic plans and to develop and coordinate priority actions. In phase three, state and territory governments take responsibility for national coordination within their jurisdictions. From July 2013, the currently listed WoNS are in phase three. A national focus on WoNS continues through the work of the Invasive Plants and Animals Committee and government agencies report to this Committee on progress against any remaining actions under the strategic plans.

The 32 WONS

The WoNS listed below are individual species or genera. Please note that some of these species or genera are grouped together as one of the 32 WoNS (e.g. Asparagus weeds, Brooms, Opuntioid cacti, and Bitou bush / Boneseed).