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Weed management

Who is responsible for weed management in the Central Tablelands?

Most farmers are impacted by weeds. Weed control is part of most farming systems, whether it is to boost available feed for grazing livestock or to improve soil moisture storage in a crop.

All land occupiers and owners also have a responsibility for control noxious weeds that are declared under an order by the Minister of Primary Industries. Generally noxious weeds are not widespread and the aim is to contain them for the benefit of the environment or industry.

Local weed control authorities are responsible for developing and implementing noxious weed control programs. Local Council are still the local weed control authority in the Central Tablelands except for the Bathurst Regional, Oberon Shire, Lithgow City and Blayney Shire councils where the Upper Macquarie County Council is the Weed Control Authority. 

What are the local control authorities responsible for?

  1. Ensuring land owners and occupiers control noxious weeds on their land
  2. Develop, implement, co-ordinate and review noxious weed policies and noxious weed control programs
  3. Controlling noxious weeds on roads

Where Crown or government land is occupied, including by licence or lease, the occupier becomes responsible for noxious weed control.

Where a public authority is an occupier of land the authority is responsible to control noxious weeds on the land to prevent the weeds from spreading to adjoining land. 

What is Central Tablelands Local Land Services responsible for?

Central Tablelands Local Land Services is responsible for preventing spread of noxious weeds from travelling stock reserves that are not leased.
Central Tablelands Local Land Services is also responsible for advisory services. We may provide general weed management advice as part of our planned pastures, farming systems and natural resource management advisory programs.
Central Tablelands Local Land Services is not generally able to provide specific herbicide information that is available on the product label or recommendations that you would normally receive from an agricultural consultant or agronomist.
For noxious weed control, the local weed control authority may be able to assist with farm specific advice on managing noxious weeds on your land.

Weed management review

In 2014 the NSW Government responded to the Natural Resources Council review on weed management. The Government accepted most of the recommendations and set in train some changes to how weeds are to be managed in the State. Some of the proposed changes will rely on the commencement of the Biosecurity Act 2015.

The Biosecurity Bill passed both Houses of NSW Parliament on 9th September 2015. When assented to the bill will allow for other changes to weed management and other biosecurity matters to be made. Until the changes are in place weed management responsibilities will not change.

Contacts for weeds:

Local weed control authorities

For herbicides

Proposed Biosecurity Bill

What is a weed?

A weed is a plant growing where it is not wanted. A plant that is considered a weed in one situation may not be considered a weed in other contexts.

Weeds are generally unwanted in a particular situation because they threaten agricultural productivity, have detrimental effects on the natural environment or impact on human health.

Weeds are often classed into broad groups depending on their characteristics, impact and the situation in which they grow.

  • noxious weeds
  • weeds of national significance
  • waters weeds
  • other weeds

Many weeds can be classed in more than one of these groups. For example, blackberry can be classed as a noxious weed, an environmental weed and an agricultural weed, depending on the situation where is it occurring. It is also listed as one of Australia's Weeds of National Significance.  Some cultivars are also grown for commercial blackberry production or in domestic gardens for berry harvest.

Where do weeds come from?

Most of our weed problems originate from parks and gardens and were inadvertently introduced. Other weeds come from the introduction of plants for agricultural production, for aquaria, as contaminate of goods or from other sources.

About 20 new foreign species are discovered growing in the wild in Australia each year.

Increasingly, scientific weed risk assessment processes are being used to lessen the likelihood that the introduction of new plants will result in weed problems.  Within the nursery industry the invasiveness of 1000 plants grown and sold in Australia has been assessed. The nursery industry has also produced information to assist gardeners with appropriate plant choices for their area.

Noxious weeds

Some serious weeds are required by law to be controlled by land owners and occupiers. These weeds are noxious weeds. A weed is declared noxious because controlling it provides benefit to the community over and above the cost of implementing that control.

In order to determine which plants are noxious weeds a scientific process of weed risk assessment is undertaken at a local, state and national levels.
In New South Wales the administration of noxious weed control is the responsibility of the Minister for Primary Industries under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993.

The Act is implemented and enforced by the Local Control Authority (LCA) for the area, usually local government. The local government invests significant resources and time in order to protect NSW from the spread of noxious weeds.

Weeds of national significance

Thirty-two weeds of national significance have been identified by the Australian Government under the National Weeds Strategy. They are identified based on their invasiveness, potential for spread and environmental, social and economic impacts.

Twenty-eight environmental weeds are listed as national environment alert list weeds. These are non-native plant species that are in the early stages of establishment and have the potential to become a significant threat to biodiversity if they are not managed.

Water weeds

Freshwater ecosystems are highly vulnerable to invasion by water weeds. Since European settlement many exotic weed species have been accidentally or deliberately introduced into NSW waterways, and have become widespread.

Other weeds

There are many others weeds that impact on horticulture, agricultural production, the environment, gardens or on amenity.