On 5 November 2021, Authority staff identified a significant roadside infestation of the invasive grass species Chilean Needle Grass (Nassella neesiana) on the Hunter Road, east of Gundy (Upper Hunter Shire LGA). This is the first recorded infestation of this plant in the Upper Hunter. 

In pastures which have been invaded by this grass, production can reduced by half with stock at risk of receiving eye and hide injuries.  It can also effect meat quality, downgrade wool and reduces biodiversity.

Chilean Needle Grass grows in tussocks about a 1m high with the seed heads having purple glumes and long bent awns. Identification and other information can be found on the NSW DPI Weedwise website by clicking on this Link

Members of the public who believe they have seen this plant should contact the Authority


On Friday 24 April 2020, UHWA  staff discovered an infestation of Parthenium weed in the Muswellbrook Shire Council area.  

It is suspected that machinery is the probable pathway for this weed as earthmoving equipment has been used recently in the area.

Unrelated Parthenium weed infestations have also be found in the Blandford area.  Parthenium weed in this area was first reported to the Authority by a Blandford landholder on 4 May 2020. This led to the discovery of infestations on 10 properties in the area. These infestations have been linked to contaminated forage sorghum hay sourced from Queensland during the recent drought. 

Parthenium weed is identified as a significant biosecurity risk in NSW and is listed as Prohibited Matter in Schedule 2 of the Biosecurity Act 2015. As prohibited matter landholders have an obligation under this Act to report any suspected infestations to the Authority. 

Parthenium weed invades pastures and crops and has been linked to severe human health issues including respiratory problem and severe dermatitis.

Over the last 18 months here have been a number of infestations have been found across NSW with some of them linked unprocessed chicken stock feeds sourced from Queensland.

The Authority is asking landholders to check any stock feed sites or where earthworks have recently been undertaken for this or for the presence of any other strange plant.

If you suspect that you have an infestation of this or any other plant you are not sure of please contact the Authority.

This link contains some identification and other information on Parthenium weed.

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

Position Vacant

Snr Biosecurity Officer

The Upper Hunter Weeds Authority (UHWA) has a permanent, full-time position available, based in the Muswellbrook district of the Upper Hunter.

 The position requires excellent communication skills with the main duties involving assisting the General Manager in day-to-day management of the County Council, the inspection of private and council lands for high priority invasive plants, the preparation of records of inspection and the identification and treatment of various invasive plants. The position also requires involvement in public awareness activities such as field days.

Prospective applicants must obtain an information package, application form and position description which contains selection criteria by emailing admin@uhwa.org.au

Please contact Doug Campbell on 0408 683 490 for further enquiries about this position.

Only written applications that address the selection criteria will be considered. Applications close on Friday 21 June 2024.

Conditions of employment will be in accordance with the Notional Agreement Preserving the Local Government (State) Award. This position has a 9-day fortnight rostered day off scheme in place. 

The Upper Hunter Weeds Authority supports the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and provides a smoke free workplace.

 Doug Campbell

General Manager

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