Weeds are one of the biggest environmental issues. Learn about the measures Council takes to address weeds and what you can do as a land owner or occupier.
A weed can be defined simply as a plant that is growing out of place, or in an unsuitable location. However, some weeds are declared to be 'priority weeds' by the Department of Primary Industries due to the significant negative impact that they can have on the community, the environment or the economy.
Weeds legislation has changed
On 1 July 2017 the new Biosecurity Act 2015 commenced, supported by the Biosecurity Regulations 2017. This replaced a number of Acts including the Noxious Weed Act 1993.
In NSW there are many other definitions for weeds including environmental weeds, agricultural weeds, Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) and National Environmental Alert List weeds.
In NSW all plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose.
The Hunter Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017 – 2022 details the weeds that are a priority for management within our region. This prioritisation of weed species within the region was undertaken by an expert panel using available knowledge and an internationally-recognised risk-assessment process.
There are four regional weed management categories and corresponding objectives:
- Prevention – To prevent the weed species arriving and establishing in the region
- Eradication - To permanently remove the species and its propagules from the region. OR to destroy infestations to reduce the extent of the weed in the region with the aim of local eradication.
- Containment - To prevent the ongoing spread of the species in all or part of the region.
- Asset Protection - To prevent the spread of weeds to key sites/assets of high economic, environmental and social value, or to reduce their impact on these sites if spread has already occurred.
To view the full list of priority weeds for the Singleton Local Government Area, visit NSW Weedwise and select 'Singleton' from the region drop down list. Alternatively, a corresponding app can be downloaded to give you greater detail if out in the field identifying weed species.
Community conquering weeds
All occupiers of land (including urban, rural, private and public) are responsible for ensuring that the risks posed by weeds found on their land are prevented, eliminated or minimised according to the Biosecurity Act 2015. The occupier in relation to land, includes any person having the care, control or management of the land.
The general biosecurity duty information provided on the Department of Primary Industries website provides further information about your responsibilities in relation to weeds and what you can do to stop the spread.
In accordance to the Biosecurity Act 2015, all occupiers of land are required to ensure that any risk posed by a weed species on their land are prevented, eliminated or minimised. The occupier in relation to land, includes any person having the care, control or management of the land. This includes:
- Controlling current infestations
- Preventing infestation
- Eradicating weed species where possible
Council conquering weeds
The Upper Hunter County Council is the Local Control Authority for the Singleton LGA. Singleton Council is responsible for controlling priority weeds on council owned and managed land. This includes:
- Identifying weeds
- Providing advice and information on ways to control weeds
- Providing displays at community events about weeds