Chilean needle grass (Nasella neesiana)

Weed control program

Section 371 (1) b of the Biosecurity Act 2015

This Weed Control Program is a Council endorsed document under Section 371 (1) (b) of the Biosecurity Act 2015 and describes how a person must discharge the person’s general biosecurity duty for the biosecurity matter (weed) described.

Plant species

Common name: Chilean needle grass
Scientific name: Nasella neesiana

Area of operation

Local government area of Eurobodalla Shire.

Species information

Chilean needle grass affects both sown pasture and native grasslands of south-eastern Australia. It is relatively unpalatable and reduces farm productivity by displacing more desirable pasture species. Heavy infestations can decrease productivity by as much as 50% during summer. It also causes injury to stock and downgrades wool, skins and hides with its long, sharp seeds.

Seedlings grow quite slowly but have very high survival rates and can flower in the first season. The adult plant is long-lived and very hardy, surviving both heavy grazing and drought. Chilean needle grass is well established on the Southern Tablelands, southwest slopes of NSW, Canberra and Queanbeyan-Palerang. As such, the threat of this plant invading from the west via machinery, vehicles, stock movement and fodder is high, and landholders must be able to identify the plant, and ensure adequate biosecurity measures are in place to prevent the introduction of this grass to the property.

Chilean needle grass poses a high threat to the vitality of both modified and native pastures, and as such would be highly detrimental to both grazing based agriculture and native grasslands in the Eurobodalla Shire.

Legal obligations

Any person who deals with biosecurity matter or a carrier and who knows, or ought reasonably to know, the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by the biosecurity matter, carrier or dealing has a biosecurity duty to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the biosecurity risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised.

Weed risk assessment

Control objective: Prevention

Council control requirements

  1. The plant is to be destroyed.
  2. The landholder must prevent spread from their land.
  3. The landholder or occupier must notify Council if the plant is found on the land.


A person who fails to discharge the person’s general biosecurity duty is guilty of an offence.

In the event that the general biosecurity duty is not discharged, Council may:

  • charge a reinspection fee
  • issue a fine notice (refer to Biosecurity Regulation 2017 (NSW) Schedule 6 - Penalty notice offences)
  • enter the property, perform weed direction works, and recoup all costs and expenses incurred.

Review date

When required.

Contact details

Invasive Species Supervisor - Biosecurity Act 2015 Authorised Officer
PO Box 99
Moruya NSW 2537

T: 02 4474 1000