Declared Plant Policy under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004




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Declared Plant Policy

under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004

water soldier (Stratiotes aloides)


Water soldier is a submerged and floating aquatic annual herb. Native to Europe and northwest Asia, it is now regarded as a weed in Europe and has recently been found in Canada. It is not known to be present in Australia and is a prohibited import, but might be smuggled into the country as an ornamental.


Management Plan for water soldier




Outcomes





  • Maintain waterways free of blockages and keep streams and wetlands free of major weed threats.


Objectives





  • Prevent incursion and establishment of water soldier in Australia.




  • Destroy any detected water soldier plants.


Implementation





  • Any infestation of water soldier discovered to be treated as an incursion and destroyed.




  • Any sale or movement to be prevented.




  • NRM authorities to inspect waterways and wetlands for presence of water weeds.



Regional Implementation
Refer to regional management plans for further details.


NRM Region

Actions

Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges

prevent entry or sale; destroy if detected

Alinytjara Wilurara

prevent entry or sale; destroy if detected

Eyre Peninsula

prevent entry or sale; destroy if detected

Kangaroo Island

prevent entry or sale; destroy if detected

Northern and Yorke

prevent entry or sale; destroy if detected

South Australian Arid Lands

prevent entry or sale; destroy if detected

South Australian Murray Darling Basin

prevent entry or sale; destroy if detected

South East

prevent entry or sale; destroy if detected


Declaration
To implement this policy, water soldier is declared under the Natural Resources Management Act, 2004 throughout the whole of the State of South Australia. The movement or transport of the plant on a public road by itself or as a contaminant, its entry to South Australia, or sale by itself or as a contaminant are prohibited. Notification of infestations is necessary to ensure these are destroyed. Land owners are required to destroy any water soldier plants growing on their properties.
Water soldier is declared in category 1 under the Act, for the purpose of setting maximum penalties and for other purposes. Any permit to allow its movement or sale can only be issued by the Chief Officer pursuant to section 188.
The following sections of the Act apply to water soldier throughout each of the the NRM regions noted below:


Region

Sections of Act



AMLR

AW

EP

KI

NY

SAAL

SAMDB

SE

175(1) Prohibiting entry to area

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

175(2) Prohibiting movement on public roads

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

177(1) Prohibiting sale of the plant

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

177(2) Prohibiting sale of contaminated goods

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

180 Requiring notification of infestations

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

182(1) Landowners to destroy the plant on their properties

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

182(2) Landowners to control the plant on their properties

























185 Recovery of control costs on adjoining road reserves



























Review

This policy is to be reviewed by 2020 or in the event of water soldier being found established in SA.



Weed Risk
Invasiveness
Water soldier reproduces by offsets that enable a rosette to spread forming a larger colony, or can break away and drift in the water to form new colonies. Seed is rarely produced.
Impacts
Water soldier grows underwater for most of the year, but in late spring it rises and flowers while floating at the surface. Under favourable conditions, it forms dense mats that exclude native aquatic plants. It lowers light levels under the water, further affecting aquatic flora and fauna.
Potential distribution
Water soldier can grow in static or slow-moving water. It could be expected to survive in freshwater ponds, lakes and streams in the southern part of South Australia including the limestone country of the South-East region as it is associated with calcareous water in its native range.

Feasibility of Containment
Control costs
While its foliage is above water level in summer, water soldier can be controlled by herbicides such as glyphosate and diquat. However, control would be labour-intensive and may be limited by risks of off-target damage to native species.
Persistence
Control actions may need to be followed up for several years because plants growing underwater cannot be reached by herbicides.
Current distribution
Water soldier is not known to be present anywhere in Australia.


State Level Risk Assessment

Assessment using the Biosecurity SA Weed Risk Management System gave the following comparative weed risk and feasibility of containment scores by land use:




Land use


Weed Risk

Feasibility of control

Response at State Level


Aquatic

medium

42


very high

0


contain spread,

alert



Considerations

Risk assessment indicates containment as a management action. However, since water soldier is absent from Australia, containment is best implemented by preventing its entry or establishment.


The Australian Weeds Committee agreed at meeting no. 6, April 2003, to revise their Tier 1 and Tier 2 aquatic weed lists, adding water soldier to Tier 1. Uniform national proclamation is necessary to ensure that these species never become established in Australia. South Australia consequently agreed to proclaim these species under the same legislative provisions as the original Tier 1 species, with prohibition on sale and enforced destruction if found.
There is no evidence that water soldier is available in cultivation anywhere in Australia. Due to its medium weed risk, absence from the country and very high feasibility of control, it is regarded as a State Alert Weed and a high priority surveillance target to increase the likelihood of early detection.

Synonymy
Stratiotes aloides L., Sp. Pl. 1: 535 (1753)
Taxonomic synonyms:

Stratiotes aculeatus Stokes, Bot. Mat. Med. 3: 52 (1812)

Stratiotes aquaticus Pall., Reise Russ. Reich. 3: 115 (1776)

Stratiotes generalis E.H.L.Krause, Deutschl. Fl. (Sturm), ed. 2. 4: 96 (1905)
Other common names include water aloe, pineapple plant, and crab’s claw.

Hon Ian Hunter MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation
Date: 28 July 2014



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