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Legal Obligations Under the Noxious Weed Act, 1993

Landholders/Occupiers legal obligations under the Noxious Weed Act, 1993.

The Noxious Weeds Act 1993 has been amended, resulting in an expanded noxious weeds list. The updated list is now available for download.

The new Cessnock City Council noxious weed list contains approximately 100 noxious weeds in five classes, each with differing control requirements. Information about the changes can be found at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/weeds/legislation.

To create the new list, the NSW Department of Primary Industries has added to the previous list the 40 Weeds of National Significance - WoNS,- see http://www.weeds.org.au for general WoNS information.

Private land owners or occupiers have obligations under the Act to control any declared weed on their property. All residents or property owners, occupiers, or people leasing or renting properties are responsible for the control of noxious weeds on their land. Council is required to conduct inspections of private properties to check compliance with the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 and the Noxious Weed Officers have the authority to issue control notices for any breach.

Landholders/Occupiers legal obligations

Section 12 of the Act outlines the obligations for control of noxious weeds on private land. This section is reproduced below. Note that under the amended Act both the occupier and the owner of a parcel of land may be held responsible for noxious weed control. Section 17A (below) designates the responsibilities for management of aquatic weeds on waterways.

12 Private occupiers of land must control noxious weeds on land

An occupier (other than a public authority or a local control authority) of land to which a weed control order applies must control noxious weeds on the land as required under the order.

Note. If an occupier fails to comply with obligations under a weed control order, those obligations may be enforced against the owner of the land as well as the occupier by a weed control notice issued under section 18.

17A Obligations to control aquatic weeds

  • If the land of an occupier is situated on opposite sides of a watercourse, river or inland water (tidal or non-tidal), an obligation under this Act for the occupier to control noxious weeds on that land also extends to noxious weeds located on the land between those sides.
  • If a watercourse, river or inland water (tidal or non-tidal) is situated between land occupied by different occupiers, an obligation under this Act for each occupier to control noxious weeds extends to weeds located on the land between the boundary of the land and any “give and take” fence erected to define the boundary of the land or, if there is no such fence, to the middle line of the watercourse, river or inland water.

28 Sale etc of certain weed material prohibited

  • A person (including a public authority) must not sell or purchase:
    a. any notifiable weed material or other noxious weed material prescribed by the regulations, or
    b. any animal or thing which has on it, or contains, notifiable weed material or other noxious weed material prescribed by the regulations, knowing it to be, or to have on it or to contain, any such weed material.
  • An occupier of land (including a public authority) must not knowingly remove or cause to be removed from the land any animal or thing which has on it, or contains, notifiable weed material or other noxious weed material prescribed by the regulations.
  • Notifiable weed material:
    a. in subsection (1) extends to the weed material of a weed that is a notifiable weed in any part of the State, and
    b. in subsection (2) is limited to the weed material of a weed that is a notifiable weed in that part of the State that includes the land that is relevant for the purposes of that subsection.

Obtaining information on weeds legislation

To access copies of the amended legislation or further information on the classification of particular species under the Act go to the following Internet link http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/weeds/legislation. Alternatively contact Council's Weeds Officers who will be able to provide you with the necessary relevant information.

Noxious Weeds Act 1993 No 11 Section 8

Weed control classes

1. The following weed control classes may be applied to a plant by a weed control order:

  1. Class 2, Regionally Prohibited Weeds,
  2. Class 3, Regionally Controlled Weeds,
  3. Class 4, Locally Controlled Weeds,
  4. Class 5, Restricted Plants.
  5. Class 1, State Prohibited Weeds

2. The control objectives of each class are as follows:

  1. the control objective for plants to which Class 2 applies is to prevent the introduction and establishment of those plants in parts of NSW; .
  2. the control objective for plants to which Class 3 applies is to reduce the area and the negative impact of those plants in parts of NSW;
  3. the control objective for plants to which Class 4 applies is to minimise the negative impact of those plants on the economy, community or environment of NSW;
  4. the control objective for plants to which Class 5 applies is to prevent the introduction of those plants into NSW, the spread of those plants within NSW or from NSW to another jurisdiction.
  5. the control objective for plants to which Class 1 applies is to prevent the introduction and establishment of those plants in NSW;

3. A noxious weed that is classified as a Class 1, 2 or 5 noxious weed is referred to in this Act as a notifiable weed.