War on Western Weeds (WoWW)

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

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

WoWW is a 5-year, $1.88 million Queensland Government initiative managed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). It is scheduled to run until June 2018.

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 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 will help fight prickly acacia and bellyache bush across Queensland.

What WoWW will do

Key WoWW activities will include:

  • trialling new weed management techniques, especially spray misting, heli-drop and scatter gun application
  • identifying and testing potential new biological controls, including insects and pathogens
  • developing biosecurity systems and actions to reduce the spread of weeds within and between properties
  • supporting better planning and management for weed control at all levels (from individual properties to cross-regional scale)
  • researching aspects of these weeds where more information is needed, including topics identified by affected communities
  • promoting best-practice weed management through field days and forums
  • leading community-based case studies into new weed management approaches.

Current WoWW activities

As at March 2017, WoWW is:

  • trialling scatter gun and weed sniper application with graziers in the Julia Creek area
  • demonstrating mister application as a new control method in the Winton and Julia Creek areas
  • completing a Good Neighbour Program case study in the Muttaburra area, with Barcaldine Regional Council, to assess weed-free buffer zones
  • progressing a new Good Neighbour Program case study with graziers in the Richmond area
  • collaborating with Desert Channels Queensland and Southern Gulf NRM (SG NRM) to improve the coordination and management of prickly acacia in western Queensland
  • researching prickly acacia invasion, including pod maturity, seed longevity, germination, and movement during floods
  • monitoring mechanical control sites to assess seedling regrowth, follow-up control requirements and pasture recovery
  • developing a prickly acacia ecology and management fact sheet series with SG NRM
  • investigating possible biological controls, including the Jatropha leaf-miner and Jatropha rust for bellyache bush, and the babul scale and gall thrips for prickly acacia.

Getting involved with WoWW

WoWW is an opportunity for graziers, local government, industry, and regional NRM (natural resource management) groups to work with DAF to find better weed control solutions.

WoWW is partnering with graziers to trial weed control methods and gather case studies on how different properties are tackling weeds. Phone the DAF Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 if you would like to be involved.

WoWW Advisory Group

The WoWW Advisory Group also meets regularly to provide community input to the project. Members are:

  • Robyn Young, rural services manager, grazier representing Flinders Shire Council
  • Scott Harrington, grazier representing Agforce Queensland
  • Jennifer Gray, grazier representing the Remote Area Planning and Development Board
  • John Bellingham, grazier representing
  • Peter Spence, field supervisor representing Desert Channels Queensland.

Various stakeholders are contributing to WoWW project activities. Technical services for the weed management trials are being provided by the community-based NRM organisation, Southern Gulf NRM.

More information

Call the DAF Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 and ask for the WoWW Project.