Media Release: Tropical Soda Apple (Solanum viarum)

Council’s Assistant General Manager, Paul Gallagher, advises “Tropical Soda Apple has been found in a location within the Nambucca Valley, and Council ask all land holders to be extremely vigilant and report all suspected sighting to Councils’ Green Space staff who will assist with the identification and control.”

Council’s Site Leader Green Space, Keegan Noble said “The Tropical Soda Apple Control Zone is across all of NSW.” “The main source of spread is when domesticated or wild ruminant animals eat the fruit or the fruit float and move in water. If not controlled a few plants will form a hectare sized thicket in 6 months, with each plant producing 150 fruit with a combined seed count of 45 000 seeds each year,”

He further said that, “Tropical soda apple (TSA) is a prickly, perennial shrub 1–2 m high, can grow in open and shaded areas in all types of land use sites. TSA can host many diseases and pests of cultivated Solanum crops, it can reduce biodiversity and cattle carrying capacities as the foliage is unpalatable to livestock but cattle consume ripe fruits in turn spreading viable seeds in their manure.”

To mitigate the very high risk of introducing this plant, any new cattle coming onto any property must be held for 6 days, in an area that can be closely inspected for TSA seedlings. Seeds become ready to sprout when they are eaten by cattle and passed within 6 days.

A person who deals with a carrier of tropical soda apple must ensure the plant (and any seed and propagules) is not moved from the land, and immediately notifies the local control authority of the presence of the plant on the land, or on or in a carrier.

Council’s Assistant General Manager Engineering Services, Paul Gallagher, said “Tropical Soda apple is legislated for eradication under the Biosecurity Act 2015. The Tropical soda apple control order specifies requirement of all land managers when dealing with TSA. There are only 5 plants in NSW that are governed by control orders put in place by the minister and TSA is one of these. Owners and occupiers of land on which there is tropical soda apple must notify the local control authority of new infestations; destroy the plants including the fruit; ensure subsequent generations are destroyed; and ensure the land is kept free of the plant.” 

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For further enquiries please contact Keegan Noble, Site Leader Green Space, on 0417 484 906 or email council@nambucca.nsw.gov.au.

MICHAEL COULTER
GENERAL MANAGER

 

DATE: 28 September 2018

 

 


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