Know your weeds

Do you want to know more about weeds and how to control them?

NSW WeedWise is a free web and smartphone application produced by the Department of Primary Industries for weeds information in New South Wales. You can customise the app to show information specific to the local area by selecting Wingecarribee as your "Area of interest"

WeedWise allows users to search for particular weeds, provides information on methods of control, and lists the biosecurity duty for each weed. 

Useful links and documents:

The Biosecurity Act (2015) and weeds risk wanagement 

Adopted from original author: Philip Blackmore, State Priority Weeds Coordinator – South East and Murray.

The purpose of weed biosecurity legislation, (Biosecurity Act 2015), is to prevent, eliminate or minimise the biosecurity risk that is caused by weed spread.

Weed spread in this case means the introduction and establishment of weeds in an area where they did not previously occur. This is different from an increase in weed density in an area where the weed has already established but at varying densities across numbers of properties.

To be considered as a target for compulsory control under the Biosecurity Act, a weed species will have potential to cause harm to individual and community interests, can be effectively controlled by reasonable and cost effective means and will currently have limited distribution within a region but have the potential to spread and to establish in areas where the weed does not currently occur.

Proposals for imposing or continuing to impose compulsory weed control requirements on landholders are carefully considered by the South East Regional Weed Committee using a scientifically reliable method. Where a weed is already widespread in the environment, compulsory control measures are unlikely to provide any personal benefit to many landholders and only provide a marginal benefit to the community.

Serrated tussock has been widespread in parts of the Southern Highlands for more than 50 years. As such, it is a poor candidate for compulsory control, especially as flupropanate, the most effective selective herbicide, is no longer being manufactured.

Regional weed planning and compliance efforts will continue to focus on preventing, eliminating and minimising biosecurity risks caused by new weed incursions to a region. Imposing compulsory control measures at an early stage of a weed’s spread is cost effective and the best use of limited resources.
This approach minimises the number of individuals who are affected by the weed and those who are burdened by the duty to implement control measures. Conversely, managing weeds that have become widespread across a region is a private benefit and is not something that can be achieved by using a regulatory approach.

Wingecarribee Shire Council is a Local Control Authority and can assist landholders to implement cooperative action against widespread weeds such as blackberry and serrated tussock. Should you need further advice on management of a healthy pasture, seek advice from a Local Land Services agricultural advisor or from a private agronomist. 

Environmental weeds

What are environmental weeds?

Environmental weeds are plants that continually invade and threaten our diverse bushland, wetlands and other natural areas. Many environmental weeds originate in home gardens.

Environmental weeds are distinct from noxious weeds in that noxious weeds are acknowledged as the most serious weeds in the environment, and landholders are required under state laws to control them. 

However, environmental weeds also cause major problems in the local environment and should also be controlled. By controlling environmental weeds now, we can prevent them from becoming more damaging to our environment in the future.

Environmental weeds in the Southern Highlands 

Council's brochure Environmental Weeds in the Southern Highlands(PDF, 2MB) profiles the 15 worst environmental weeds in the Southern Highlands, as well as providing a list of recommended alternative native and exotic plants for your garden. 

You can also see a basic Environmental Weeds List(PDF, 78KB) for the Southern Highlands and Council's suggested alternatives for your garden. 

Other documents relating to environmental weeds:

English Ivy: a growing problem(PDF, 1MB)

Priority weeds

Weed biosecurity

From 1 July 2017 the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinates came into effect replacing all or part of 14 Acts including the Noxious Weeds Act 1993.

The Act provides modern, flexible tools and powers that allow effective, risk-based management of biosecurity in NSW. It will increase efficiency and decrease regulation in responding to biosecurity risks and provides a streamlined statutory framework to protect the NSW economy, environment and community from the negative impact of pests, diseases and weeds.

General biosecurity duty

The General Biosecurity Duty (section 22 of the Biosecurity Act) states that:

“Any person who deals with biosecurity matter or a carrier and who knows, or ought reasonably to know, the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by the biosecurity matter, carrier or dealing has a biosecurity duty to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the biosecurity risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised.”

Priority weeds

The South East Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan supports regional implementation of the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 by articulating community expectations in relation to effective weed management and facilitating a coordinated approach to weed management in the region.

The plan identifies state and regionally prioritised weeds and outcomes to demonstrate compliance with the General Biosecurity Duty.

NSW WeedWise contains over 300 priority weeds, describing;

  • Profile
  • Control (including registered herbicide options)
  • Biosecurity duty (under the Biosecurity Act 2015)
Duty of land owners

All land owners or land managers have a ‘General Biosecurity Duty’ to prevent, eliminate or minimise the Biosecurity Risk posed or likely to be posed by weeds.

If a weed poses a biosecurity risk in a particular area, but is not the subject of any specific legislation, Council’s Authorised Officers may rely on the general biosecurity duty to manage that weed or prevent its spread.

If Council’s Authorised Officers believe that the owner/occupier of the land is failing in their biosecurity duty to control weeds on their land then they can issue a Biosecurity Direction to prevent, eliminate or minimise the biosecurity risk.

Council’s role

As a land manager, Council must prevent, eliminate or minimise the risk posed by weeds found on land under its control. Council is also the Local Control Authority for the Wingecarribee Local Government Area, which means Council is responsible for administering and enforcing the Biosecurity Act 2015 in respect to weeds. This includes inspecting private and public lands to ensure owners/managers of land carry out their obligations.