Buyers beware: Prohibited aquatic weeds sold online in Blue Mountains
Warning advice is being circulated following the seizure of prohibited plants that were sold online by sellers within the Blue Mountains Local Government Area.
Blue Mountains City Council’s weeds compliance team are investigating people selling aquatic weeds online and have carried out two seizures of prohibited plants in recent weeks.
In December 2019, the team carried out its first seizure, following a tip off by the NSW Department of Primary Industry. The second seizure was carried out in January, 2020.
The plants being sold were Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), a free-floating perennial water plant and Salvinia (Salvinia molesta) a free floating fern that forms dense mats on water bodies. Both are Weeds of National Significance (WONS) and two of the world’s worst aquatic weeds.
Both of these weeds will impact our natural areas by choking water bodies by their rapid spread, eliminating native aquatic plants and changing the temperature, pH and oxygen levels of water.
It is important for people who purchase plants from classified ad sites over the internet to understand that there is legislation in place (NSW Biosecurity Act 2015) that prohibits the sale of certain plants.
The responsibility rests with the purchaser to seek advice as to whether weeds are permitted or not.
By being vigilant, residents help protect our Blue Mountains environment, including its Threatened Species, Endangered Ecological Communities and World Heritage Wilderness Area.
Weeds are everybody’s responsibility. Council’s website includes Fact Sheets on priority weeds of local, regional and state significance that include photos to assist you identify these weeds. It also includes information on the Biosecurity Act 2015. Go to bmcc.nsw.gov.au/weeds.
Should a person be found selling Priority Weeds, a $2000 penalty applies.
Photo: Water Hyacinth