Pest plants & weeds


Environmental weeds are introduced plants that have naturalised and invaded our bushland, beaches and waterways. These weeds threaten our natural environment.

Many environmental weeds were originally introduced and grown as ornamental garden plants. Most environmental weeds are not native to Australia, but some native plants have also become environmental weeds after spreading outside their natural range.

Weeds are usually very hardy plants. They may grow very quickly, reproduce in large amounts and are often tolerant to a wide range of conditions. It is these qualities that make weeds so successful and also make them difficult to control.

Weeds commonly thrive where there has been a disturbance to the natural system such as changes in light, nutrients, soil or hydrology. The spread of weeds can be due to animals, wind, water and human activities.

The Biosecurity Act identifies restricted and prohibited pest plants and weeds. These species seriously threaten the natural environment, Queensland's primary industries, livestock and human health. Everyone has a general biosecurity obligation to minimise risks associated with pest plants under their control. You are not expected to know about all types of pest plants; however, you are expected to know about pest plants that you could potentially come across as part of your day-to-day activities.

Identifying pest plants & weeds

We have produced a booklet to help residents identify pest plants and weeds. It also provides information on how to control environmental weeds.

Download the booklet: Environmental weeds and native alternatives(PDF, 5MB)

Alternatively, contact us to request a copy.

Report invasive plants

If you see any pest plants on public or private land, please report them to us. We will investigate the problem and may be able to control their spread. You can either:

Management of pest plants & weeds

As our population and urban areas expand, the pressure on our natural areas grows, increasing the threat and effects of weed infestation. We have implemented a range of actions to manage these threats.

Our Vector and Biosecurity Services Unit inspects private and public land for pest plants and weeds identified in the City of Gold Coast Biosecurity Plan 2019-2024. Management of identified pest plants and weeds is prioritised according to the likelihood of the pest plant being found, the impact of the pest plant to the city and the feasibility of successfully managing the pest plant. See species information on the pages below:

Our Natural Areas Management Unit undertakes weed management activities as part of its restoration, rehabilitation and maintenance of natural areas. Find out more on our Managing natural areas page.

Waterway and wetland weeds are managed using a variety of methods, including mechanical removal, application of registered herbicides and biological control agents. See species information on the pages below, as well as our Aquatic vegetation harvesting page.

Myrtle rust is a fungal disease that is not possible to eradicate. The disease will continue to infect susceptible plants in the city due to the large number of spores spread by the wind. Find out more about actions being taken and tips to reduce its impact.

We offer free schemes to support private landholders wanting to manage pest plants and weeds and restore their property's native habitat. Find out if you're eligible for assistance through one our landholder support programs.

To learn more about how to control pest plants and weeds in your environment, go to our Control pest plants and weeds page.

You can also learn more about controlling weeds and bush regeneration by participating in our NaturallyGC program or join a bushcare group through our NaturallyGC Volunteer Landcare program.