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Biosecurity Act Information

19 April 2017

The Biosecurity Act 2015 (NSW), was assented to Parliament in September 2015 and is expected to come into effect on 1 July 2017, pending the assent of the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 (NSW) which is still in draft. It repeals the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 (NSW). The key feature, and main departure from the previous Act is the introduction of the concept of a General Biosecurity Duty (S22), that is:

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.

Weeds are therefore now considered biosecurity matter, and can come under the direction of the new Act if they are creating a risk to the environment, agriculture or economy. Any person dealing with weeds must be first educated in relation to their impact, and any control measures must be in accordance with mandated measure (for priority weeds, via the regional plan) or community expectations if they are not.

HRCC will therefore no longer have a list of Noxious Weeds like we currently do, in fact, the term “Noxious Weeds” will cease to have any legal relevance. There will continue to be Priority Weeds at a state, regional and local scale.

Existing HRCC Procedures

HRCC currently has several procedures as they relate to the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 (NSW). These include the following:
• Delegation of Weed Inspectors (S50)
• Issue of Certificates of Authority (S50)
• Notice of Entry (S45)
• Issue of Intention to Issue Weed Control Notice (S18a)
• Issue of Weed Control Notice (S18)
• Show Cause Notice
• Notice of Intent to Enter Property and Control Weeds (S20)
• Recovery of Costs (S26)
• Issue of Thank You letters
The repeal provisions listed in the Biosecurity Act 2015 (NSW) (Schedule 7, Part 2, Div. 1, S3) allow for all above mentioned processes, and the notices issued as a result to remain in force as if the Act had not been repealed. This includes the delegation of Weed Inspectors, who will become Authorised Officers upon repeal of the Act. (S9).

Biosecurity Act Legislative Requirements for HRCC

Under the new legislation, HRCC will continue to be the Local Control Authority (LCA) for each of our members (S370), and our Member Councils will not be a LCA. That role and cost is transferred to the County Council.

HRCC will have the following functions, in relation to the land for which it is the local control authority, as listed in the Biosecurity Act 2015 (NSW) (S271,1):

(a) the prevention, elimination, minimisation and management of the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by weeds,
(b) to develop, implement, co-ordinate and review weed control programs,
(c) to inspect land in connection with its weed control functions,
(d) to keep records about the exercise of the local control authority’s functions under this Act,
(e) to report to the Secretary about the exercise of the local control authority’s functions under this Act.

Biosecurity Act Strategic Planning

The Greater Sydney Regional Weeds Committee is currently preparing the Regional Weeds Management Plan which will set the regional direction for weed management. The plan will also include a Priority Weeds list for both state and local weeds. The General Manager and Operations Manager have both been involved in the development of the regional plan. As such, HRCC Delivery and Operational Plans have already adopted the strategic direction of the plan in their current draft form.

In response to the legislative provision that HRCC will “develop, implement, co-ordinate and review weed control programs”, it is intended to develop a localised plan, for the HRCC district only. This will include the directions of the regional plan, but also allows for our organisation to respond more directly to the local community and environment.

This local plan will allow HRCC to provide an indication the local community of how we intend to apply the General Biosecurity Duty in relation to weeds across the district. This plan will then influence the development of future HRCC Delivery and Operational Plans. It is envisioned that this plan will be created once the new Act is in force. It is expected that a Draft HRCC Local Weeds Plan development process will be tabled at the August 2017 Ordinary Meeting.


The strategy to be taken during the transition process will follow these steps:
1. Maintain the general approach of leading the community with education before regulation.
2. Maintain existing processes and notices under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 until they expire or are revoked.
3. Develop new processes based on the Biosecurity Act 2015 (NSW).

4. Develop a Local Weeds Plan and endorse the Regional Weeds Plan.
5. Begin implementing new processes under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (NSW).

Additional info:

ENC_GM7_biosecurity terms-and-definitions-accessible



HRCC Annual Report 2015-16

22 November 2016

annual report 15-16 cover


New Weeds Research – Hygiene Practice

5 October 2016

weed hygene












Project team:  Sonia Graham, Nicholas Gill, Rebecca Cross,  Viveka Simpson, Eli Taylor and Sarah Rogers Weed hygiene supports weed control efforts and prevents the spread of weeds.  Weed management guidelines emphasize the importance of weed hygiene. However, little is known about the weed hygiene knowledge and practices among private landholders, public land managers, weed contractors and agricultural transport companies in NSW. This research explores the extent to which these key weed management stakeholders know about and implement weed hygiene practices. Download the full paper here.

Get Your Free Copy of this New Book

21 January 2015 Noxious-and-environmental-weed-control-handbook This latest edition of the handbook has been compiled as a guide for noxious and environmental weed control in non-crop, aquatic and bushland situations. Contents include:

  • Integrated weed management
  • Legal responsibilities associated with pesticide use
  • Reducing herbicide spray drift
  • Using adjuvants with herbicides
  • Cleaning spray equipment
  • Withholding periods
  • Herbicide resistance
  • Control techniques using herbicides
  • Weeds declared noxious in New South Wales
  • Minor-use permits
  • Noxious and environmental weed control
  • Appendix 1: Spray calibration methods

Download your free copy right now. Or if you would like a free hard copy then contact us and supply your postal address.


13 November 2014

Before: Kudzu infestation. Boundary Creek, Penrith (2010)

Before: Kudzu infestation. Boundary Creek, Penrith (2010)

After: Kudzu removed. Boundary Creek, Penrith (2014)

After: Kudzu removed. Boundary Creek, Penrith (2014)

Chris Dewhurst (HRCC), Martin Snowball (Virbac Animal Health) and  Andrew McGahey (Total Earth Care) at Boundary Creek, Penrith

Chris Dewhurst (HRCC), Martin Snowball (Virbac Animal Health) and Andrew McGahey (Total Earth Care) at Boundary Creek, Penrith

Environmental contractors Total Earth Care have completed a project to remove the invasive weed Kudzu from a site in Penrith, Hawkesbury River County Council (HRCC) General Manager, Chris Dewhurst announced today. “Costing nearly $70,000 the project was funded from a number of sources including the NSW Government’s Weeds Action Program,” Mr Dewhurst said. “Kudzu is one of the world’s worst weeds because it can grow up to 30cm per day and has the ability to completely smother houses, buildings as well as all other vegetation “Kudzu has been present at Boundary Creek, Penrith, between Castlereagh Rd and the Nepean River, for more than 10 years. “Unless controlled it has the potential to spread into the main river and establish in other areas,” Mr Dewhurst said. Total Earth Care Director Andrew McGahey said controlling the plant has been difficult due to severe bank instability compounded by continuous discharges from the upstream sewage treatment plant. “Controlling the weed required a combination of herbicide applications and physical removal. “We have also revegetated the site with native plants and undertaken additional works to stabilise the banks. “After two years of intensive works the site at Boundary Creek is largely free of Kudzu, Mr McGahey said. Mr Dewhurst praised the co-operation amongst the three landowners which has been critical to the success of the project. “I would especially like to thank Virbac Animal Health who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to managing the Kudzu under challenging circumstances. “Virbac also showed real community leadership by agreeing to act on behalf of all three landowners and avoid the need for three separate projects. Mr Dewhurst said HRCC will need to monitor this site and sites downstream in the Nepean River for many years to come before we can be sure the Kudzu has been completely eradicated. “Any new plants or new growth must be immediately controlled to ensure this weed does not re-establish or spread to other areas,” Mr Dewhurst said.

NSW Weed Management Review

28 Feb 2014

Kudzu infestation at Boundary Creek, Penrith
Kudzu infestation at Boundary Creek, Penrith

Final NRC Report now released. “Weeds-Time to get Serious” – a review of weed management in NSW.

The Minister for Primary Industries, The Hon. Katrina Hodgkinson MP has requested the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to undertake an independent evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of weed management arrangements in NSW with a view to inform the further development of the proposed NSW Biosecurity Act, and other relevant strategies under the NSW Biosecurity Strategy. As an initial step in the review the NRC has prepared an issues paper now available for public comment based on initial consultation and research. The purpose of this paper is to:

  • clarify priority issues
  • get stakeholder and community views about barriers and opportunities for more effective weed management
  • seek to identify any additional issues
  • identify relevant evidence to inform the review.

Hawkesbury River County Council made a submission during the review.

HRCC Media Release – Weed Authority Tackles e-Weeds

27 Feb 2014 Hawkesbury River County Council (HRCC) has moved its battle against noxious weeds on-line. The Weed Authority’s inspectors have noticed a number of people setting up business selling plants over the internet using services such as eBay. HRCC Operations Manager, Mr Chris Stanfield says “We routinely inspect traditional plant outlets such as nurseries and aquariums, but we now have to keep watch on the sale of live plants over the internet”. “These plants can cause devastating impact on our agriculture and natural environment”, Mr Stanfield said. “Noxious species such as Salvinia and Water Hyacinth can be sealed in plastic and shipped to the buyer within two days. However, Weed Authority inspectors have found good will amongst plant retailers, in both traditional and online forms. “Most are small business people only too happy to do the right thing if provided with good advice”, Mr Stanfield said. “The small number of people selling illegal weed species has stopped immediately once they have been contacted by our staff, and in most cases it appears to be a case of mistaken identity. HRCC Chairman, Clr. Bob Porter said “This is an example of how our weed authority is adapting to the modern market place.” “The County Council is continually on the lookout for new weed incursions, so if you think you have spotted one, please report it immediately.” Hawkesbury River County Council (HRCC) is the local weed authority for the Council areas of Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Penrith and The Hills Shire. HRCC has a list of all Noxious Weeds on its website at, or call 4574 9600 to report a weed. For media enquiries please contact: Mr Chris Dewhurst, General Manager T: 4574 9603 E: ebay plants

HRCC Concept for a “Biosecurity County Council”

Agnes Banks - June 2013 April 2013. Local Land Services (LLS) are the new NSW Government regional service delivery organisations that will replace Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs), Livestock Health & Pest Authorities (LHPAs) and incorporate agricultural advisory services currently provided by Agriculture NSW (DPI). The HRCC proposal utilises existing structures of local government to deliver the operational aspects of the LLS. A short one page brief can be found here.

A Day in the Life of a Weed Warrior

17 Sep 2013 With credit to Far North Coast Weeds.

The HRCC Aquatic Weed Harvesting System Explained