Shed no Tears: Job’s Tears control project

Strategic management of Biosecurity threats posed by new weed

Shed no Tears: Job’s Tears control project

Strategic management of Biosecurity threats posed by new weed

Capacity to Deliver -

LP022-024

The issue

The outstanding soils & climate of North East NSW help make the area an international Biodiversity Hotspot, but also provide excellent conditions for the growth of weeds.  New weed incursions are managed by local control authorities (LCAs), but rely on reporting and collaborative action by landholders and community to address the diversity and extent of infestations. 

In 2018 a new weed incursion of Job’s Tears (Coix lacryma-jobi) was identified on the banks of upper Terania Creek, a tributary of the Richmond River in the Lismore LGA.  The weed was not previously known in the area, though an isolated infestation on Horseshoe Creek at Kyogle demonstrated its potential for further spread in the region.

Job’s Tears is a clumping grass that grows along waterways and in damp sites. Native to tropical Asia, it is capable of forming dense clumps and large populations which block the flow of waterways and replace native aquatic & riparian plants. This new infestation was found over a significant reach of Terania Creek, a threat made more troubling due to a paucity of information available to the community on it's identification and control.

The solution

Working closely with Lismore City Council, LCA Rous County Council (RCC) and North Coast Local Land Services (NCLLS), Richmond Landcare began a concerted effort in 2019 to attract funding and build community capacity to control this new priority weed.

With a goal of shedding no further seeds downstream, a series of projects were developed to undertake strategic control of Job's Tears at Terania Creek. A total of 4 consecutive biosecurity projects were funded by NCLLS and RCC with a total value of $122,122.   

Delivered in collaboration with bush regeneration contractor EnviTE Environment, project activities included trialling control methods, primary and secondary treatment, seed head removal, monitoring and adaptive management, mapping infestation reach, identifying and training landholders, delivering community engagement field days and outreach about Job's Tears and the General Biosecurity Duty.

The impact

Though hampered by COVID, fires, successive floods and a substantial wet season, the Job’s Tears weed biosecurity projects have seen a 5.5km reach of Terania Creek treated with primary and secondary weed control undertaken over 2 years. 

15 landholders have been supported to learn treatment and maintenance techniques, and 3 engagement activities have helped communicate the threats posed by the weed to a wider audience. As a result, the local community is on alert for this weed and our team has identified and supported the control of a further 2 isolated infestations in the local area.

Information about weed treatment responses has been shared with government to support the addition of Job’s Tears to the regional weeds plan as an Eradication priority and to establish a NSW WeedWise profile (in progress).

Key facts

  • New weed incursion of Job’s Tears identified
  • $122k funding from Rous County Council and North Coast Local Land Services for strategic priority weed control projects
  • Established infestation of Job’s Tears treated and landholders supported to identify and maintain

Project Partners