Targeting Serrated Tussock: A joint approach

Please find the media article below, written by Travis Turner at the City of Greater Geelong, partnering with the VSTWP and State Government.

Serrated tussock is found in many rural areas across greater Geelong with the worst infestations occurring on farmland around Anakie, Lara and Little River.

As a Weed of National Significance, serrated tussock is regarded as one of Australia’s worst weeds due to its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts.

Landowners are reminded of their responsibility to reduce serrated tussock on their properties now.

Spring is a crucial time for controlling serrated tussock, and it is important to control the plants as soon as they appear, before they set seed. They can be controlled by using herbicide spray.

Serrated tussock typically seeds in November in high volumes. Mature seed heads are carried along the ground and in the air and may be blown up to several kilometres. One large plant can produce up to 100,000 seeds each year.

Seeds are also dispersed by moving water, mud, in hay, on machinery and equipment, coats of livestock and in the animal droppings.

The City’s contractors are currently spraying serrated tussock on rural roadsides and City managed land across the municipality.

The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party and Agriculture Victoria are working with the City to inform landowners to act against serrated tussock and prevent its spread to neighbouring areas.

For more information on how to identify and control serrated tussock visit

City of Greater Geelong Acting CEO Guy Wilson-Browne

Serrated tussock is a very invasive and destructive weed. Livestock such as sheep, horses, cows and goats can’t digest the plant, which can lead to ill condition of the animal and potential death.

Controlling serrated tussock before it becomes established is a high priority for any landowner. Heavy infestations of serrated tussock lead to loss of pasture and native grasses and significantly increase fire risk.

We have a responsibility to manage serrated tussock on our land not only for the environment, but also for our farming economy. Tussock is a terrible pest and we must work together to control it as one of our highest priorities.

Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) Chairman Lance Jennison

One of our recent studies found that if serrated tussock was left to infest a property or landscape, the cost of controlling it was at least five times higher than if it was prevented in the first instance.

This is a potential massive cost saving and an important message to deliver to landowners who have untreated plants on their property.

Agriculture Victoria Manager of Biosecurity Craig Clutterbuck

Landowners have a legal responsibility to control serrated tussock on their properties to ensure they don’t adversely affect agricultural production on neighbouring properties, or impact on the natural environment.

Serrated tussock will begin to flower from October onward, with seed developing from 8 to 10 weeks later.

Landowners are encouraged to prioritise efforts to control serrated tussock now, including revisiting treated areas to ensure all plants have been effectively controlled.