Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta)

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: Coolatai grass
Scientific name: Hyparrhenia hirta

Area of operation

Local government area of Eurobodalla Shire.

Species information

Coolatai grass is an invasive drought, fire and herbicide tolerant tussock forming perennial grass. It has become a major invasive species in northern New South Wales (NSW) and southern Queensland, dominating pastures over a range of soil types and conditions. It is also one of the few perennial grasses capable of invading undisturbed natural ecosystems and is a major threat to natural biodiversity in natural areas.

Coolatai grass readily invades pastures and dominates them, particularly where ground cover is low (less than 70%) due to the grazing regime (set stocking) and low soil fertility. Failure to appropriately manage a Coolatai grass dominated pasture will see a monoculture of tall rank growth of low digestibility (<40%) and protein (<7%). Sheep production will be poor and cattle will need supplementary nitrogen or protein to be able to utilise the feed.

The threat of this plant invading 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. Coolatai 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, native grasslands and natural bush areas 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

Risk level: Medium
Impacts: Economy and environment
Control objective: Containment

Council control requirements

  1. The plant must 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