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Gold Coast natural environment

We have one of Australia's most biodiverse cities. Let's explore, celebrate and work together to protect it for the future.

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Pest plants & animals

The Queensland Government has identified a number of pest plants and animals that are considered to have an adverse effect if conditions and restrictions were not imposed. Information on these pests can be found at the Business Queensland website.

The Biosecurity Act 2014 (the Act) commenced on 1 July 2016 and imposes an overarching general biosecurity obligation (GBO) on each person to manage biosecurity risks in their control, and prevent biosecurity events from occurring. This preventative approach relies on everybody adopting a duty of care and implementing measures to prevent or minimise biosecurity risks.

Gold Coast Biosecurity Management Plan 2019-2024

The Gold Coast Biosecurity Management Plan 2019–2024 (the Plan) is a statutory requirement of the Act and highlights the City’s commitment to partnering with stakeholders to reinforce a collaborative approach and recognition that biosecurity is everybody’s responsibility.

The Plan has used a risk management based approach to prioritise invasive plants that occur or are likely to occur within the city. Priorities are based on information gathered from the Queensland Herbarium records, Biosecurity Queensland, pest mapping data and internal records.

The risk assessment of invasive plants considered the following; likelihood of entry and establishment in the City, impact of existing or potential threats to the City and feasibility of managing the invasive plant. After assessment, each invasive plant was assigned a management objective of prevention, eradication, containment, asset protection or advice and support.

Download our Gold Coast Biosecurity Management Plan.

Biosecurity programs

Council is introducing the following biosecurity programs to support the Management Plan. These programs will operate for the entire calendar year of 2021.

  • Surveillance Program for Invasive Plants and Animals 2021
  • Prevention and Control of Invasive Plants and animals 2021

The key activities undertaken by the programs include but are not limited to:

  • Surveillance activities related to prohibited and restricted plants and animals. Authorised City officers will conduct visual inspections of identified properties and places. Such properties or places will include:
    • those with, or next to infestations of invasive plants and animals
    • those where there is a reasonable risk that invasive plants and animals may exist.
  • Aerial survey by visual, photographic or electronic means. We may use aircraft or remote-controlled, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for this type of survey.
  • Inspecting businesses, groups or individuals who trade, give away, sell or in any other way distribute plants or animals.
  • Working with the Queensland Government on the reduction or eradication of certain species. Such species includes bitou bush and telegraph weed.

For more information download our biosecurity programs. You can also inspect the programs at the following Customer Service Centres:

  • Nerang
  • Southport
  • Helensvale
  • Palm Beach
  • Upper Coomera.

Prohibited and restricted biosecurity matter

Pest plants and animals have been divided into prohibited and restricted matter:

Prohibited matter is a pest plant or animal that is not known to occur in Queensland.

Restricted matter is a pest plant or animal that has been found in Queensland and specific actions are required to limit the impact of these pests by reducing, controlling or containing them. To assist in reducing the risk of pest plants and animals damaging the economy, environment and impacting on our community the Queensland Government has defined Seven management categories for restricted pest plants and animals.

Biosecurity risk mitigation - responsibilities and obligation

Under the Act, individuals and organisations have been given a ‘general biosecurity obligation’ (GBO) to take steps to mitigate the risk.

Our GBO means that everyone is responsible for managing the risk when they deal with a pest or something that could carry a pest (biosecurity risks). You are not expected to know about all types of pest plants and animals; however, you are expected to know about pest plants and animals that you could potentially come across as part of your day to day activities.

For these pests, individuals' and organisations' activities that pose a biosecurity risk must:

  • take all reasonable and practical steps to prevent or minimise each biosecurity risk;
  • minimise the likelihood of causing a ‘biosecurity event’, and limit the consequences if such an event is caused; and
  • prevent or minimise the harmful effects a risk could have, and do not do anything that might make any harmful effects worse.

Environmental weeds and invasive plants

Find information on how to identify and control environmental weeds and invasive plants of the Gold Coast.

Invasive animals and pest insects

Find information on how to identify and control fire ants and invasive animals of the Gold Coast.

See what the City is doing to control mosquitoes and midges and find out how you can help.

Safe pest control

Pests in your home not only cause annoyance and inconvenience, but can also spread disease and sickness. The safest and most effective way to control pests is to engage the services of a licensed pest control operator and have the problem treated professionally.

Here are a few simple rules for the safe handling of pesticides:

  • always read the label and observe directions for application
  • never spill the concentrate on the skin (if this happens, wash it off immediately)
  • never spray in an enclosed space without proper respiration equipment
  • wear appropriate clothing such as a hat, respiration mask, overalls, rubber gloves and boots to protect the skin
  • store containers well away from children, preferably in a locked room or cupboard
  • never smoke, eat or drink while handling or applying pesticides
  • do not contaminate food or drink when applying pesticides
  • always apply pesticides at the recommended strength
  • only use spraying equipment which is in proper working order
  • dispose of containers as soon as they are empty
  • always use the most appropriate pesticide for the task
  • limit pesticide application to areas frequented by the target pest
  • good hygiene reduces the need to apply pesticides.

Further information

Visit Gold Coast Flora and Fauna to find out more about our Gold Coast species.

Conservation Partnership Program: learn how to create and protect native habitat on your private land.

For enquiries about environmental weeds, pest animals, or pest management (on City land), please phone
07 5582 8211 or 1300 GOLD COAST (1300 465 326).

Note: Information on this webpage has been sourced from the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Biosecurity, viewed 10 August 2017.

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