Threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts on northern Australia's biodiversity by the five listed grasses

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2012

About the plan

This national threat abatement plan (TAP) has been developed to address the key threatening process (KTP) 'Ecosystem degradation, habitat loss and species decline due to invasion of northern Australia by introduced gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus), para grass (Urochloa mutica), olive hymenachne (Hymenachne amplexicaulis), mission grass (Cenchrus polystachios syn. Pennisetum polystachion) and annual mission grass (Cenchrus pedicellatus syn. Pennisetum pedicellatum)'. This KTP was listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) in 2009.

This TAP is considered to be a feasible, effective and efficient approach to abating the threat to Australia's biodiversity from the five listed grasses spreading across northern Australia. Its focus is on identifying and protecting key environmental assets. It provides a framework for prioritising investment in threat abatement and identifies actions required to ensure the long-term survival of native species and ecological communities affected by these grasses.

The overarching goal of this TAP is to minimise the adverse impacts of the five listed grasses on affected native species and ecological communities. To achieve this goal, the TAP has six main objectives that were developed in consultation with experts in relevant jurisdictions. These objectives are to:

  1. develop an understanding of the extent and spread pathways of infestation by the five listed grasses
  2. support and facilitate coordinated management strategies through the design of tools, systems and guidelines
  3. identify and prioritise key assets and areas for strategic management
  4. build capacity and raise awareness among stakeholders
  5. implement coordinated, cost-effective on-ground management strategies in high-priority areas
  6. monitor, evaluate and report on the effectiveness of management programs.

This TAP should be read in conjunction with its associated background document, which provides information about each of the grasses, their impacts on the environment, their social and economic impacts and values, and their current management.

Public consultation

Written submissions on the consultation draft of the Threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts on northern Australia's biodiversity by the five listed grasses (Grasses TAP) closed on 21 November 2011 and 20 submissions were received. Feedback from the submissions was taken into account in finalising the Grasses TAP. Non-confidential submissions and a summary of the outcomes of the consultation process are available below. The Department would like to thank all those who provided submissions.