About Noxious Weeds
What is a noxious weed?
A noxious weed is a plant declared to be noxious under the NSW Noxious Weeds Act 1993. Noxious weeds can be agricultural weeds, environmental weeds or have a direct impact on human health.
How are plants declared noxious weeds?
The Minister for Primary Industries may publish an order in the Government Gazette declaring a plant to be a noxious weed.
A weed control order takes effect from the date of gazettal and remains in force for a period of up to 5 years specified in the order.
Weed Control Classes
The following control classes may be applied to a plant by a weed control order:
Class 1 State Prohibited Weeds
Class 1 noxious weeds are 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.
Class 2 Regionally Prohibited Weeds
Class 2 noxious weeds are 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.
Class 3 Regionally Controlled Weeds
Class 3 noxious weeds are plants that pose a serious threat to primary production or the environment of an area to which the order applies, are not widely distributed in the area and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.
Class 4 Locally Controlled Weeds
Class 4 noxious weeds are plants that pose a 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.
Class 5 Restricted Plants
Class 5 noxious weeds are plants 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.
Obligations of Landholders
Under Section 12 of the Noxious Weeds Act 1993, private occupiers of land to which a weed control order applies must control noxious weeds on the land as required by the weed control order.
If an occupier fails to comply with their weed control obligations Council may serve a weed control notice on the owner or occupier of the land, requiring the owner or occupier to carry out those obligations.
If a person fails to comply with a weed control notice Council may enter the land and carry out the work at the person’s expense.
Council may also prosecute offenders for breaches of the Act and inspectors may serve penalty notices for minor offences.
Council and public authorities are required to control noxious weeds on land under their control.
However, under Section 13 of the Act, public authorities are only required to control noxious weeds to the extent necessary to prevent them from spreading to adjoining land.
Many weeds can reduce farm productivity by competing with pasture plants and crops, hindering cultivation and harvesting, contaminating produce, and poisoning or injuring livestock. The cost of controlling weeds also has a significant economic impact on the agricultural industry.
Page Last Updated: 9 February 2012