Biosecurity, Pests and Weeds

NSW Biosecurity Act 2015  

The NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 came into effect on 1 July 2017. The Biosecurity Act 2015 replaces all or parts of 14 Acts including the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 and the Fisheries Management Act 1994.

Under the Act, biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Biosecurity is important because it protects our economy, environment and community from pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants. This principle applies to anyone who owns or is the responsible manager for a land tenure. The principle states that “anyone who knows or ought reasonably know about a biosecurity risk has a duty to report, prevent, eliminate or minimise that risk as far as reasonably practicable”.

Under the legislation, landholders must control biosecurity risks on their property, include vertebrate pest animals (such as rabbits, foxes, pigs, wild dogs and cats, and deer), insect pests, and weeds.

Landholders are responsible for the control of the Priority Weeds listed for Uralla Shire. Priority Weeds have the potential to have a serious impact on the environment, the community or economic activities (such as farming). Not all noxious weeds are non-native and some are aquatic.

For details about how to control declared noxious weeds or pests, landholders are encouraged to contact the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services on their website here or on (02) 6770 2000, or visit the Department of Primary Industries' website

Weed Control

Effective Weed Control

Effective weed control is not only achieved by controlling the growth and reproduction of weeds within an existing population, but also by ensuring that weed seed reserves in the soil are depleted and by maintaining a strong, resilient pasture that minimises further weed germination.

Some weeds spread by reproductive means, while others spread by vegetative means. Others have evolved to reproduce by a combination of both, so it’s important to understand the target weed and ensure that individual plants are either controlled before seeding and/or all vegetative plant parts are removed, including the roots, stems, branches, stolons, tubers or other plant parts which may allow the plant to propagate vegetatively.

For effective weed control, an integrated management program needs to be implemented where a coordinated range of suitable chemical and non-chemical control methods are used. The following methods may be used depending on the suitability for control of the target weeds:

  • Herbicide application.
  • Grass Competition.
  • Biological control.
  • Slashing.
  • Ploughing.
  • Digging or grubbing out (for small infestations).
  • Use of farm animals such as sheep and goats for grazing management.

Some of these methods, however, may be more effective than others depending on the target weed. Used on the wrong weed, some of these methods may spread the weeds further.

It is important to ensure when implementing a weed management program that your chosen methods comply with your weed control obligations under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. Ongoing control is required to control new germination’s and, in the case of some woody weeds, regrowth. This can be achieved by regularly checking your property for new growth, bearing in mind different weeds germinate and grow at different times of the year. Prior to control, care needs to be taken in correctly identifying weed species.

To achieve long term control, it is necessary to maintain a strong, competitive pasture to compete with new weed germination. If your existing pasture is badly deteriorated you should seek agronomic advice, as your best option may be to establish a new pasture.

If you are using herbicides, caution needs to be exercised. The product label and safety directions must be followed. The herbicide should be applied using correctly calibrated equipment under suitable environmental conditions to avoid damage to non-target plants.

The Local Land Services can provide advice on correct selection, mixing and application of herbicides.

Information for Landowners

Owners and occupiers of rural and urban land are reminded that it is everyone’s General Biosecurity Duty to control weeds on their land.

An occupier of land who is given an Individual Biosecurity Direction or who enters into a Biosecurity Undertaking to control weeds, must control all weeds on the land as required under the terms of that direction or undertaking.

Under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015, failure to do so leaves owners and occupiers liable for fines and further compliance action.

It is every landholder’s responsibility to be aware of weeds issues. The aim of weed control is to destroy the pest plant, deplete weed seed reserves in the soil and constantly inhibit future growth of the weeds. In some cases, it is necessary to also remove stolons and rhizomes, which may allow the plant to propagate vegetatively.

Farm Biosecurity

Farm biosecurity is a set of measures designed to protect a property from the entry and spread of pests, disease and weeds. Farm biosecurity is your responsibility and that of every person visiting or working on your property.

Producers play a key role in protecting Australian plant and livestock industries from pests and diseases by implementing sound biosecurity measures on-farm.

If a new pest or disease becomes established on your farm, it will affect your business through increased costs (for monitoring, production practices, additional chemical use and labour), reduced productivity (in yield and/or quality) or loss of markets. Early detection and immediate reporting of an exotic pest or disease increase the chance of effective and efficient eradication.

The Farm Biosecurity program is an important part of Australia’s emergency animal disease and exotic plant pest surveillance systems. Surveillance allows us to preserve existing trade opportunities and provides evidence of Australia’s pest and animal disease status to support access to international markets.

Visit the Farm Biosecurity website or download the Farm Biosecurity Action Planner

The best defence against pests and diseases is to implement sound biosecurity practices on your farm. Quick and simple measures built into everyday practice will help protect your farm and your future.

Priority Weeds for the Northern Tablelands 

Expand the table below for for information on identifying and controlling some priority weeds found in the Uralla Shire Local Government Area, or conduct your own weed search on the Department of Primary Industries website at NSW WeedWise.

Priority Weeds for the Northern Tablelands

Council Weed Control

Uralla Shire Council manages public land throughout the Shire including public parks, Crown reserves and roadsides. Weed control on public land is an important function of Council to support our native plant species. Control of listed Priority Weeds is also a requirement for all land managers under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015.

Council’s control of weeds on public land includes mechanical removal and herbicide application. When herbicides are used, notification is provided to the public. For the benefit of the community, Council's Pesticide Use Program may be accessed here.

Pesticide Use Notification Plan

A Pesticide Use Notification Plan has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Pesticides Regulation 2009. The document is intended to inform the public of Council’s obligations when using herbicides on public lands.

New England Weeds Authority (NEWA) provides a service for Uralla Shire Council to manage weeds on roadsides and some Council facilities. NEWA and Council work together under the Pesticides Regulation 2009 to responsibly manage weeds on public land. Under the Regulation, NEWA and Council are required to publish details of their combined annual plans for pesticide use for public access.

The Pesticide Notification Plan sets out how Council and NEWA will notify members of the community of impending pesticide use in public places. The Plan can be downloaded here.(PDF, 102KB)

The Uralla Shire Council/NEWA Pesticide Use Program Plan outlines the annual schedule for weed control throughout the Shire. View Council's Pesticide Use Program Plan on our website here.

Pest Management

Landholders have a responsibility to continually suppress and destroy populations of declared pests on their land. For more information, visit the Department of Primary Industries websites on declared vertebrate pest animals and insect pests.