Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza) risk analysis

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We are conducting a risk analysis for the proposed release of the rust fungus Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza) into Australia. The purpose of this release is to control flaxleaf fleabane (Conyza bonariensis), an invasive agricultural and environmental weed.

The use of exotic biological control agents to control invertebrate pests, weeds and other organisms has been common in Australia for many years. Releasing pathogenic, herbivorous, predatory or parasitic organisms into the Australian environment can have potential “off-target” risks. This means risk to other plants or invertebrate animals not targeted by the biological control agent.

We began this risk analysis in response to an application to release Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza) to control Conyza bonariensis. The application was submitted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will not commence an assessment to release a biological control agent unless the target pest species has been approved by an appropriate government body. Conyza bonariensis was approved as a target for biological control by the former Invasive Plants and Animals Committee (IPAC) in November 2017.

We have now released a draft report, which:

  • estimates off-target risks and potential consequences of the release
  • evaluates the risk to be Negligible, which achieves Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP)
  • proposes the release of the biological control agent Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza).

You are invited to provide comments on the draft report. In particular, on the proposal to release Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza).

Submit your comments by 1 May 2021.

To make a submission:

We will consider all comments before preparing the final report.

We are conducting a risk analysis for the proposed release of the rust fungus Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza) into Australia. The purpose of this release is to control flaxleaf fleabane (Conyza bonariensis), an invasive agricultural and environmental weed.

The use of exotic biological control agents to control invertebrate pests, weeds and other organisms has been common in Australia for many years. Releasing pathogenic, herbivorous, predatory or parasitic organisms into the Australian environment can have potential “off-target” risks. This means risk to other plants or invertebrate animals not targeted by the biological control agent.

We began this risk analysis in response to an application to release Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza) to control Conyza bonariensis. The application was submitted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will not commence an assessment to release a biological control agent unless the target pest species has been approved by an appropriate government body. Conyza bonariensis was approved as a target for biological control by the former Invasive Plants and Animals Committee (IPAC) in November 2017.

We have now released a draft report, which:

  • estimates off-target risks and potential consequences of the release
  • evaluates the risk to be Negligible, which achieves Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP)
  • proposes the release of the biological control agent Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza).

You are invited to provide comments on the draft report. In particular, on the proposal to release Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza).

Submit your comments by 1 May 2021.

To make a submission:

We will consider all comments before preparing the final report.

  • Use this form to draft your feedback or upload your own document. If you are uploading a written submission on behalf of an organisation, it must be on official letterhead.

    You will need to register with us or sign in to provide feedback online.

    Before you make a submission, make sure you have read the draft risk analysis report for the release of Puccinia cnici-oleracei (ex. Conyza) for the biological control of Conyza bonariensis.

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