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Water hyacinth sale on Facebook ends in court

A Yarriambiack Shire woman has been given a 12-month good behaviour undertaking by the Hopetoun Magistrates Court for attempting to sell the aquatic weed water hyacinth on Facebook.

Water-hyacinth in bloom. Ted D Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

The woman was accused of trying to sell the plants on her Facebook page – badging them as pond plants.

Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Manager – High Risk Invasive Plants, Angela Constantine said water hyacinth was a state prohibited weed in Victoria and was particularly harmful in aquatic environments.

“Water hyacinth is one of the world’s worst aquatic weeds and infests rivers, dams, lakes and irrigation channels on every continent, except Antarctica,” she said.

“It can rapidly affect water quality, native aquatic plants and fish, as well as having impacts on recreational activities such as fishing and boating.”

Ms Constantine said the woman’s Facebook advertisement was reported to Agriculture Victoria’s Weed Spotter email address.

“In March 2017, our biosecurity compliance officers executed a search warrant and seized approximately 830 plants.

Willey Durden, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

“The accused told our officers she didn’t know the plant was illegal and took down her advertisement immediately.”

The woman was sentenced by the Court to pay costs and given a 12 month good behaviour undertaking, without conviction.

“We are concerned however that this is not an isolated case, with previous instances of people using online forums such as Facebook and Gumtree to sell these plants.

“We ask that anyone that has water hyacinth to proactively report it to Agriculture Victoria and we can come remove these plants at no cost.”

If you see or have any water hyacinth, report it to the Agriculture Victoria Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or email [email protected]


Acknowledgement:Reproduced from a media release by Agriculture Victoria (external link, Agriculture Victoria)