Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

New guide for best practice weed hygiene

Posted on 7 January, 2021 by Ivan

Preventing the spread of weeds should be a high priority for landholders and provides one of the highest returns on investment. It is often the most cost-effective way of protecting and improving biodiversity and productivity on your property.

The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) recently completed an industry first: a best practice weed hygiene guide, aimed at preventing the spread of serrated tussock and other weeds due to land management practices such as slashing, movement of vehicles and machinery. The guide contains principles and management actions that apply to many weeds found in our region, including serrated tussock, Chilean needle-grass, St John’s wort, and the various grassy weeds. Please read the following summary below provided by the VSTWP regarding the new guide.

The new guide provides effective solutions to landholders and land managers in preventing weed spread (photo: VSTWP)


The best practice guide weed hygiene was developed through collaboration with stakeholders, including a survey of relevant stakeholders and land managers to understand the complex networks involved in weed management.

The survey established three-quarters of respondents employed contractors to work on their land, with a range of formal and informal weed hygiene control mechanisms in place. However, only a few admitted to auditing their contractors annually or more often, with many reporting they have never conducted an audit.

The aim of this guide is to improve the operations of staff and contractors, providing appropriate oversight and strategies to prevent the spread of weeds. The guide is a vital link in managing serrated tussock across Victoria.

The guide acknowledges that land managers spend millions of dollars each year controlling serrated tussock and other weed species in Victoria.

Of all the management activities for serrated tussock and other high threat weeds, reducing spread is the cheapest and most effective method of control.

VSTWP Chairperson Lance Jennison said ‘This guide is split into easy-to-use sections that provide practical guidance on identifying and controlling serrated tussock, weed hygiene practices in the field, along with contract management and oversight’. ‘The best practice guide will prove invaluable for landowners, land managers, contractors and large-scale projects, with plenty of strategies to minimise the spread of serrated tussock,’ Mr Jennison said.

Serrated tussock is a hardy and aggressive grassy weed that is found throughout temperate regions of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. Serrated tussock has a devastating impact on the biodiversity of native grasslands and can drastically reduce the carrying capacity of farmland. Seed can be easily spread through civil construction works, land management activities, and via livestock and wildlife.

The newly published weed hygiene guide can be viewed online at the VSTWP website (click here) or downloaded as a pdf (click here). Hard copies of the guide are also available on request by contacting the VSTWP (email:

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