Environment SA News

Fine for pest plant infestation

The owner of a rural property near Golden Grove has been convicted and fined $3500 for failing to control Wild Artichoke on her 13 hectare property.

Fine for pest plant infestation
Wild Artichoke is a declared plant which landholders are required to control under the Natural Resources Management Act.

Wild Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is a declared plant which landholders are required to control under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004. It should not be mistaken for the common edible artichoke (Cynara scolymus).

The Golden Grove property has been of concern since 2016, and despite being advised of her obligations on numerous occasions, the owner failed to address the problem.

In addition to the fine, the court has ordered the landowner to engage an accredited consultant to develop a three-year plan to control and manage the property’s Wild Artichoke infestation.

Tony Fox from Natural Resources Northern and Yorke said the case was a timely reminder for landholders to control this known pest plant and other weeds on their properties.

“All landholders are responsible for controlling noxious weeds like Wild Artichoke, not only for the health and productivity of their land, but also to prevent outbreaks on neighbouring properties,” Mr Fox said.

“Heavy infestations of this prickly plant can deter livestock from grazing large tracts of land, compete with crops and cause time delays during harvest.

“It’s also a common pest in bushland, along creeks and roadsides, where unmanaged invasions can form dense thickets that impede property access and use.”

Mr Fox is encouraging landholders to prioritise pest plant control during autumn as weeds will begin to respond to increasing rainfall.

“Now is an ideal time to control weeds like Wild Artichoke,” he said.

“The autumn break will stir this pest plant into action, so it’s critical to get on top of it while it’s still small and before it begins drawing moisture and nutrients from the soil.

“Young plants are very easy to control, but they can grow into very large, spiky plants that become much more difficult to manage.

“Taking a long-term approach to weed control is also important, as Wild Artichoke requires follow-up control over three to four years.”