Economic evaluation of the management of bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. rotundata (DC.) T.Norl.) to conserve native plant communities in New South Wales

Jack SindenA,B, Paul O. DowneyC, Susan M. HesterA,B and Oscar CachoA,B

A School of Business Economics and Public Policy, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales 2351, Australia.

B CRC for Australian Weed Management.

C Pest Management Unit, Parks and Wildlife Group, NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, PO Box 1967, Hurstville, New South Wales 1481, Australia.


The bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. rotundata (DC.) T.Norl.) Threat Abatement Plan (TAP) aims to reduce the impacts of bitou bush on biodiversity in New South Wales. This is the first weed TAP in Australia and so its effectiveness in conserving threatened biodiversity, as well as its cost of implementation, must be examined to determine if this new approach should be adopted as a template for managing the biodiversity impacts of other major weed species. We therefore consider the question 'is the TAP a good investment in relation to protecting biodiversity'? We combine the costs of implementing the TAP with conservative, published estimates of the benefits of protecting biodiversity, to calculate the benefit-cost ratios of the investment. The ratios indicate that the benefits of the TAP exceed the costs under a wide range of economic conditions. While this result supports the approach, the cost of implementation should be analysed over the five years relative to the biodiversity outcomes in order to determine the ex post benefit of the TAP.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2008) 23 (1) 34-37.