Gamba Control Protects Communities


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Weed Management Branch has undertaken roadside surveys of more than 1140 Top End properties since November 2017 for gamba grass compliance.

127 properties were flagged as requiring on-site inspections. To date 98 of these inspections have been completed, with 76 resulting in orders being issued for gamba grass control.

Weed Management Branch Manager Operations and Compliance, Roni Opden, said the response has been largely positive with most residents agreeing to meet with weed officers on-site, and complying with Orders to effectively control gamba grass on their properties.

Gamba grass is a declared weed that was initially introduced to the Territory in the 1930s as a pasture grass, but has since proven to be highly invasive, creating high fuel loads that lead to hot, intense fires which place people and property in danger.

“We have led a community awareness program regarding the requirement for gamba grass management and the prevention of its spread for many years, with free herbicide and equipment loans provided to the community every wet season since 2010” Ms Opden said.

“Gamba grass is best treated when it is actively growing between November and April. Where management doesn’t occur we see increased loads of dry and highly flammable grass during the following Dry Season.

“That’s why everyone who is issued with an Order is also offered free herbicide and spray equipment through the Gamba Action Program.

“For this week only, residents in Darwin’s rural area can drop into Freds Pass Sport and Recreation Reserve at Bees Creek from 7.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, to pick up what they need to manage their gamba grass.”

Under the Weeds Management Act, property owners and occupiers are required to manage or eradicate gamba grass on their property according to the zone* in which the property is located.

The Weed Management Plan for Andropogon gayanus (gamba grass) clearly articulates management requirements.

Information on the Gamba Action Program is available at

Media Note – For more information / interview call Roni Opden on 89994564

*Gamba grass management zones

Eradication Zone (Class A) – gamba grass must be eradicated, this area is outside of the area defined in the Management Zone.

Management Zone (Class B) – the growth and spread of gamba grass must be managed, this area includes: the NT coastline in the north, the western boundary of Kakadu National Park in the east, the town of Katherine in the south and the Daly River mouth in the west.  This includes the Darwin rural area.

Refer to the Weed Management Plan for Andropogon gayanus (gamba Ggass) at

Gamba Grass Map _ Freds Pass Sport and Recreation Reserve (jpg 484 kb)
Gamba Grass (jpg 4 mb)
Gamba Action Vehicle (jpg 3 mb)
Gamba Action Vehicle 2 (jpg 3 mb)

A map of Freds Pass Reserve indicating the location of the Weeds branch

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