Sharp/Spiny rush (Juncus acutus)

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: Sharp/Spiny rush
Scientific name: Juncus acutus

Area of operation

Local government area of Eurobodalla Shire.

Species information

Juncus acutus is a robust tussock that grows to about 1.5m high and has about the same spread. The flowering stems and leaves are round in cross-section and have a sharply pointed tip that is painful to touch with the hand.

Growing primarily in wet soil, in areas which are occasionally but not permanently under water, Juncus acutus will grow in both freshwater and saline situations, and will take over pasture, cause lameness and other needle stick type injuries in animals and people from the sharp spines, and prevent access to waterways and other assets.

Juncus acutus is spread by seed in water or contaminated soil, in mud on vehicles, machinery and boats. The clumps also spread gradually by underground rhizomes. The plant presents a high threat to both fresh and salt water wetlands, riparian zones and low lying pasture areas of 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: 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. 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