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'.
The Central West 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 including:
- Control (including registered herbicide options)
- Biosecurity duty (under the Biosecurity Act 2015).
NSW Weed Wise
NSW Government Biosecurity Act 2015
Central West Local Land Services Weed
Central West Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017-2022
Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, Dubbo Regional Council's 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 Natural Resources Team is responsible for implementing these programs. The programs are based on targeted high risk pathways and a broader landscape approach to achieve an effective outcome for all landowners. The Natural Resources 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.
YOUR OBLIGATIONS AS A LAND OWNER &/OR LAND MANAGER
Under Part 3 of the Biosecurity Act 2015, all land owners and 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 farmlands, creeks, rivers and other high risk pathways. This is achieved through communication between Council's Natural Resources Officers and landholders, and through education about weeds and effective weed control techniques.
- Monitor the spread of Priority Weds and report new incursions within the Dubbo Regional Council Local Government Area.
WHAT IS A PRIORITY WEED?
Priority Weeds have the potential to pose a Biosecurity Risk which is required to be controlled by law; this is the responsibility of all landholders. These are referred to as Biosecurity Matter under the Biosecurity Act 2015 in NSW.
Priority Weeds or Biosecurity Matter can impact on human health, the economy, the liveability of our region 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 Biosecurity Act 2015 is administered by the Minister for Primary Industries. The Act is implemented and enforced by the Local Control Authority (LCA) for the area, usually local government.
The Central West Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017-2022 which has been developed by Central West 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' have specific measures for the control of individual weed species.
The 'Other Weeds of Regional Concern' have been put through a Weed Risk Assessment process which identifies outcomes for these weeds. This category will be known as 'Local Priority Weeds'.
BIOSECURITY ACT 2015 - Frequently asked questions
What is an invasive weed?
Invasive weeds are plants that are spread by birds, wind and storm water. Invasive weeds impact upon neighbouring properties and surrounding bushland by excluding and competing with native plant growth and regeneration.
What is changing?
From 1st July 2017 the NSW Government has replaced the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 with the Biosecurity Act 2015. The new Biosecurity Act 2015 combines 14 different pieces of legislation, including the Noxious Weeds Act, into a single Act of law.
Under the Noxious Weeds Act all landowners have a responsibility to control noxious weeds on their property. Under the Biosecurity Act the same responsibility will apply and will be known as a General Biosecurity Duty.
WHAT DOES THE NEW BIOSECURITY ACT MEAN FOR ME?
Landowners have a responsibility to control noxious weeds on their property under the Biosecurity Act as they did under the old Noxious Weeds Act. If you notice invasive weeds coming up on your property, you will need to control them as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading to other properties or our native bushland. Remember: Biosecurity Begins on Your Property.
The only difference residents will see is a change in the terminology used, for example, the term Noxious Weed will be replaced with Priority Weds or Biosecurity Matter, and that weed notices/orders will be issued as Biosecurity Directions under the Biosecurity Act.
WILL THE BIOSECURITY ACT CHANGE THE WAY COUNCIL MANAGES WEEDS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY?
No. 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.
Where do I find more information about the biosecurity act?
For further information see the Department of Primary Industries.
If you require information on weed control you may contact Council's Team Leader Natural Resources on 02 6801 4000.
Last Edited: 15 Mar 2021