Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Successes and lessons from olive risk management in South Australia.

Abstract

Olive risk management in South Australia (SA) remains a novel approach to dealing with conflicts of interest over invasive economic crops. There have been 2 key successes. Firstly, feral olives gained prominence as a serious weed issue in SA, with a greater understanding of the extent and impacts of the weed. Management of feral olives continue to raise political and media interest, with support for regional control programmes. The olive industry is also more aware of the risks of feral olives, from both environmental and biosecurity perspectives. Secondly, the number of inappropriately sited new olive orchards has been reduced. However, it cannot be said that the feral olive problem has been significantly diminished through the risk management approach. Feral olives were already widespread in 1999 and the approach would have been much more appropriate for a new industry or for a state where olives did not have a long history of naturalization. A key lesson has been that the limited resources put into the initial implementation and ongoing liaison with local governments and industry meant that there was inconsistent uptake across SA. Awareness of the olive risk management policy is diminishing with turnover in local government planners and changed focus of weed managers. For a risk management approach to be successful, ongoing communication and policy revision is needed, which adapts to changing government planning and natural resource management frameworks.