The Illawarra community is being called upon to help protect the region from a potential biosecurity risk caused by an invasion of Parthenium weed ( pictured).
The weed is thought to have been transported from Queensland, spreads rapidly and is dangerous to grazing animals as well as reducing crop and land values.
Contact with the plant or pollen can cause serious allergic reactions.
The call for vigilance has been issued by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation’s Illawarra District Weeds Authority (IDWA).
IDWA Chief Weeds Officer David Pomery said the Parthenium weed posed one of the greatest weed threats to NSW and it was important to take action quickly.
“We are asking Illawarra residents and landholders to be vigilant and contact NSW DPI or the IDWA if they suspect they have seen any Parthenium plants.
People who suspect they have seen Parthenium weed should note the location and call the NSW DPI biosecurity helpline on 1800 680 244.
They could also call the IDWA on 4233 1129 or Local Land Services for plant identification and assistance.
For more information on the weed and how to identify it during its various growth stages, or for an online form to record sightings, go to http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/weeds/partheniumweed