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Noxious Weeds

Noxious weeds are required by law to be controlled by all landholders in an area. The law that controls noxious weeds in NSW is the LinkNoxious Weeds Act 1993 (external link).


Weeds that are declared noxious are those weeds that have potential to cause harm to the community and individuals, can be controlled by reasonable means and most importantly, have the potential to spread within an area and to other areas. A weed is declared noxious because its control will provide a benefit to the community over and above the cost of implementing control programs.


Many ‘bad’ weeds do not meet the criteria for declaration, but may be classed locally as Linkenvironmental weeds (Internal link). Noxious weeds will have limited distribution with the potential to become more widespread and will cause impact on agriculture, human health or the environment.


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 Act imposes obligations on occupiers of land to control noxious weeds declared for their area.



Classes of Noxious Weeds


There are five classes of noxious weeds identified in the Act:


Control Class
Weed TypeExample Control Requirements
Class 1
Plants that pose a potentially serious threat to primary production or the environment and are not present in the State or are present only to a limited extent. The plant must be eradicated from the land and the land must be kept free of the plant. The weeds are also ‘notifiable’ and a range of restrictions on their sale and movement exist.
Class 2 Plants that pose a potentially serious threat to primary production or the environment of a region to which the order applies and are not present in the region or are present only to a limited extent.The plant must be eradicated from the land and the land must be kept free of the plant. The weeds are also ‘notifiable’ and a range of restrictions on their sale and movement exist.
Class 3Plants that pose a potentially serious threat to primary production or the environment of a region to which the order applies, are not widely distributed in the area and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.The plant must be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
Class 4 Plants that pose a potentially serious threat to primary production, the environment or human health, are widely distributed in an area to which the order applies and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.

The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread and the plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed

Class 5Plants that are likely, by their sale or the sale of their seeds or movement within the State or an area of the State, to spread in the State or outside the State. There are no requirements to control existing plants of Class 5 weeds. However, the weeds are ‘notifiable’ and a range of restrictions on their sale and movement exists.



List of Noxious Weeds


For a full listing of noxious weed declarations, see:


linkNSW Department of Primary Industries Noxious Weeds Database (external link) 


pdfNoxious weeds of the Southern Highlands (PDF, 500kB)



Purchasing Property with Noxious Weeds


Before purchasing a property:

  • Arrange to have a professional Weed Control Operator to inspect the property. Not all properties affected by declared noxious weeds have Weed Control Notices on them. Because of the number of properties in Wingecarribee shire, it is simply not possible to inspect every property as often as desired. Unless Council is notified of an existing problem, some properties severely infested with declared noxious weeds may go undetected for many years and subsequently be sold along with the weed problem. 

    During your initial inspection of the property, 
    you should arrange to have a reputable Weed Control Operator accompany you. They will be able to advise you on likely costs and outcomes of noxious weeds present on the property. Contact details of Weed Control Operators experienced in this matter are available from Council's Weed Officers. The small cost of an independent inspection may save you many thousands of dollars in compulsory noxious weed eradication works.

  • On exchange of contracts, your Solicitor should request a Section 64 Certificate from Council. A Section 18 Weed Control Notice will encumber properties that have been inspected, and have declared noxious weeds present. By requesting a Section 64 Certificate from Council, you will be advised if there is a notice or outstanding charges as a result of weed control carried out on that property. Then, you can make a planned decision, rather than inherit a potential mental and financial burden that can last for years.
Last Updated: February 20th, 2018
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