On 1 July 2017 the NSW Government replaced the Noxious Weeds Act 1993, and 13 other Acts, with a single piece of legislation: the Biosecurity Act 2015.
Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, 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 on human health, the economy, community and environment.
These obligations are met through programs to:
- control Priority Weeds on Council managed lands; and
- inspect private lands to ensure that owners of land carry out their obligations to manage the Biosecurity Risk as imposed under the Act by controlling Priority Weeds.
Council’s Urban Weeds Team is responsible for implementing these programs. The programs are based on targeted sub-catchment and a broader landscape approach to achieve an effective outcome for all landowners. The Urban Weeds Team takes a coordinated approach with residents, community groups and other agencies to control Priority Weeds on all lands in selected areas regardless of land tenure.
Under Part 3 of the Biosecurity Act 2015, 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 Priority Weeds.
What Is Our Aim?
Our aim is to:
- protect biodiversity by controlling Priority Weeds and raising awareness of the impact of weeds on bushland, swamps and creek lines; this is achieved through communication between Council’s Biosecurity Weed Officers and landholders, and through education about weeds and effective weed control techniques, and
- monitor the spread of Priority Weeds and report new incursions within the Blue Mountains Local Government Area.
What is a Priority Weed?
Priority Weeds have the potential to pose biosecurity risks. The law puts the responsibility on landholders to control these risks, which are known as ‘biosecurity matters’ under the Act.
Priority Weeds or biosecurity matters can impact human health, the economy, and the liveability of our City and the environment. Impacts can include allergies and other health issues, costs of control, loss of tourism value, degradation of natural landscapes, parks and recreation facilities, reduction of useful agricultural land and loss of primary production, loss of biodiversity and water quality.
In New South Wales, the Minister for Primary Industries administers the Biosecurity Act. It is implemented and enforced by the Local Control Authorities (LCAs) for each area, usually local government.
The Greater Sydney Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017 – 2022, developed by Greater Sydney Local Land Services, outlines two categories of Priority Weeds;
- ‘State Priority Weeds’
- ‘Regional Priority Weeds’
It also lists;
- ‘Other Weeds of Regional Concern’
Both ‘State Priority Weeds’ and ‘Regional Priority Weeds’ require specific control measures for individual weed species.
‘Other Weeds of Regional Concern’ have passed through a Weed Risk Assessment process that identifies outcomes for these weeds. This category is known as ‘Local Priority Weeds’.
For further information, see the Greater Sydney Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017 – 2022 (PDF).
You can read the Biosecurity Act 2015 on the NSW Government website.