Right plant, right place

The Blue Mountains is famous for its world renowned heritage gardens and its unique bushland and spectacular views. For those of us who live in the Blue Mountains, within a World Heritage Area, we have the best of both worlds.

Almost all of us live within sight of the bush so we are all bushland neighbours. Our bushland is under threat from weeds escaping from gardens, with birds eating and spreading seeds or from plant prunings and grass clippings being dumped into the bush.

Weeds can take hold of an area quickly and can impact on local biodiversity by smothering native plants, out competing native plants for space, sun and nutrients and can change the structure, species composition, fire frequency and abundance of native communities. Which in turn alters wildlife habitat that would have been used for shelter, food and nesting materials.

Weeds are everybody’s responsibility.

Weed Legislation

From the 1st of July 2017 the NSW Government has replaced the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 with the Biosecurity Act 2015. Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, the Blue Mountains City Council, as the Local Control Authority, has a legal obligation to manage the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by reducing the impacts of Priority Weeds.

What is Biosecurity?

Biosecurity refers to the protection of native plant communities; reducing the risk to human health: and the risk to agricultural production, from invasive weeds.

What does the Biosecurity Act mean for me?

Under the Biosecurity Act, landowners have a responsibility to control the risk that Priority Weeds on their property pose to neighbouring bushland and properties.

Residents will see a change in the terminology used, for example, the term Noxious Weed will be replaced with Priority Weeds or Biosecurity Matter, and weed notices/orders will be issued as Biosecurity Directions under the Biosecurity Act. There are also some changes target invasive plants identified as Priority Weeds compared to previous Noxious Weeds lists.

Therefore the Noxious Weeds Classification of individual weeds is no longer correct.

Which species are Priority Weeds?

Priority Weeds in the City of Blue Mountains, are plants that have the potential to pose a biosecurity risk to human health, the economy, the livability of our city and the environment.

To view the Priority Weeds list for the City of the Blue Mountains please download the Priority Weeds Information Booklet here;

ttps://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/files/PriorityWeedsInformationBooklet.pdf

Will the Biosecurity Act change the way Blue Mountains City Council manages weeds on private property?

No. Blue Mountains Council’s Urban Weeds Program and the process for inspecting private properties for invasive weeds will continue unchanged. Council will also maintain its current approach to education and enforcement relating to invasive weeds. Council will maintain the current process for issuing Weed Control Notices. The main differences will be the terminology used and that Orders will be issued under the Biosecurity Act. They will be known as Biosecurity Directions.

For more information and to learn weed removal techniques join Bushcare.

To find a group near you go to http://www.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/groups/

Happy gardening!