Serrated tussock (Nasella trichotoma)

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: Serrated tussock
Scientific name: Nasella trichotoma

Area of operation

Local government area of Eurobodalla Shire.

Species information

Serrated tussock is a tussock grass (to about 0.5m) with very fine bright green leaves. Older leaves and whole tussocks in winter have a characteristic bleached appearance. Long, branched seed heads weep over to the ground around the tussock. The tiny straw colored, awn-less seeds are enclosed in reddish purple glumes, giving the whole plant the appearance of a large pink cushion when flowering.

Serrated tussock is most invasive in over-grazed pasture in dry areas, but it will readily invade any sort of grassy vegetation, and even spread into forest adjacent to infested pasture. It can build up to high density eliminating most other plants. Individual plants are long-lived and seed remains viable in soil for more than 13 years. Dense stands produce a serious fire hazard. Serrated tussock’s fibre content is so high that stock are unable to digest it, and animals forced to graze it may eventually starve to death. It therefore reduces stock carrying capacity of pasture, as well as being one of the worst potential environmental weeds of remnant grassy native vegetation of farming areas.

The entire seed head snaps off and blows around like a tumbleweed, to collect against fences and other obstructions. It is very light, and can be carried many kilometres on the wind. Seed can also stick to clothing and animals, and is spread in manure of stock feeding on infested pasture, in contaminated hay and in mud on vehicles.

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. Destroy all plants, or if that is not practicable, destroy as many plants as is practicable and stop the spread of any remaining plants from the property in a manner agreed to, or dictated by, Council.
  2. The landholder must prevent spread from their land.
  3. Slashing is not a control method.


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