War on Western Weeds (WoWW)

If you need immediate help with weed control, contact the Rural Lands Officer at your local council, or phone 13 25 23 and ask to speak to a DAF Biosecurity Officer.

The War on Western Weeds (WoWW) initiative contributes to reducing the incidence and spread of prickly acacia and bellyache bush in western Queensland through improved weed management, research and training.

WoWW was a 5-year, $1.88 million Queensland Government initiative managed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). It commenced mid-2013 and concluded in mid-2018.

The War on Western Weeds story map has been produced to summarise the initiative and its outcomes.

Prickly acacia and bellyache bush in western Queensland

Prickly acacia and bellyache bush are 2 of Australia's worst weeds because of their invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts. Both are well-established throughout parts of western Queensland. These weeds can overtake pasture and natural grasslands, interfere with stock management, and contribute to erosion. Bellyache bush is also toxic to humans and animals.

WoWW aims

The WoWW initiative focused on three key areas:

  1. Refining new tools and approaches
  2. Improving biosecurity systems
  3. Exploring biological control opportunities

WoWW target area

WoWW focuses on an area where prickly acacia has a significant impact – roughly bounded by Hughenden, Julia Creek, Winton, Longreach, Barcaldine and Aramac. The project will also target other strategic infestation areas such as central Queensland, and the lower Gulf between Burketown and Normanton.

Project outcomes help the fight against prickly acacia and bellyache bush across Queensland.

WoWW implementation

The WoWW initiative was delivered collaboratively with community, industry and government stakeholders through 'Community of Practice' approaches.

Critical to this was the partnership with Southern Gulf NRM who contributed Technical Officer support to the initiative, the input of a project advisory group, the direct involvement of multiple innovators, as well as the participation of over 60 landholders.

WoWW outcomes

The WoWW initiative is increasing the capacities, skills, tools and motivation of land managers to achieve practical and cost-effective outcomes for prickly acacia management. The key outcomes are:

  • Improved understanding of prickly acacia ecology to better manage the problem
  • Refinement of new herbicide application techniques, especially spray misting, heli-drop and skatter gun methods
  • Development of community-based case studies, particularly Good Neighbour Programs, to pilot new weed control approaches
  • Identification and testing of potential biological control agents, including insects and pathogens
  • Development of biosecurity systems and guidelines to reduce the spread of weeds within and between properties
  • Improved planning and management for prickly acacia control at all levels (from individual properties to cross-regional scale)
  • Promotion of best-practice weed management through field days, workshops and forums.

More information

Call the DAF Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 and ask for the WoWW initiative or view the War on Western Weeds story map.