With recent rainfall, weeds may be starting to find their way onto your block. The general definition of weed is a wild plant, growing where it isn’t wanted. However, noxious weeds can be more of a problem than just competing with your seedlings! Under the Noxious Weeds Act (1993) NSW, landholders are required to control certain weeds, on their property. The maximum penalty for a landowner who fails to control those weeds is $4,400.
Certain weeds are prohibited under the Act. Prohibited and restricted weeds are considered ‘notifiable weeds’ and landholders must notify the Local Control Authority (LCA) within 24 hours of becoming aware of the weed on their property. However, liability does not solely rest with the landholder. Under s16A of the Act, anyone who in a professional capacity, suspects that a plant on land is a ‘notifiable weed’ must notify the LCA within 24 hrs. Failure to notify the LCA can result in a fine of $2,200.
Under the Noxious Weeds Act, the LCA can conduct weed inspections. Where the LCA issues a weed control notice (also known as a ‘s.18 notice’), the landholder must carry out their obligations to control noxious weeds. A landholder must comply with the s.18 notice. These notices are treated particularly seriously and a failure to act on them can lead to a fine up to $11,000. In addition, the LCA may enter the property and carry out the weed control, at the landholder’s expense.
Specific weeds declared to be noxious are named in NSW Government Gazette. For more information contact the NSW Department of Primary Industries or your local Council.
This article is general information only and should not be relied on without obtaining further specific information.
By Amanda Tully