Current Weed Inspection Programs
From 1 July 2017, the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 will be repealed and replaced with the Biosecurity Act 2015. As such the declaration status and control measure of any weeds listed on this page will be no longer relevant. HRCC is developing a Local Weeds Plan which will guide the implementation of the new Act in relation to weeds.
Hawkesbury River County Council conducts programmed property inspections throughout our four council areas. Inspectors will be looking for, educating and advising landholders on noxious weeds such as Mother of Millions, Green Cestrum, African Boxthorn and Boneseed to name a few.
The Weed Inspection Process
Weeds that are declared noxious are those that have the potential to cause harm to the community, economy and the environment. In New South Wales, the administration of noxious weed control is a State government responsibility under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993. The Act is implemented and enforced by the Local Control Authority (LCA), which in the case of the Blacktown City, Hawkesbury City, Penrith City and the Hills Shire Councils is Hawkesbury River County Council.
These obligations are adhered to through the control of noxious weeds on public land and the inspection of private land to ensure that owners or occupiers of land carry out noxious weed control on their land. These programs seek to utilise our limited resources to maximise containment of noxious weeds in a strategic approach. Weeds are most commonly spread by water, wind and birds, therefore a great deal of Council’s inspection and control work is focused in the following areas;
- along drainage lines
- rivers and creeks
- adjacent to bushland reserves
Why Are You Inspecting My Property?
There are many reasons why your property might be inspected for noxious weeds. The most common would be if your Council or HRCC discovered a new infestation within your area. HRCC will then draw a perimeter around the infestation taking into account major roads and parkland, whoever falls within this perimeter will be inspected for noxious weeds. This process is also a way to educate landowners and occupants on what noxious weeds to look out for within their property, parklands and roadsides.
Under Section 12 of the Noxious Weeds Act 1993, an owner or occupier of land must control noxious weeds on the land.
Areas are inspected by means of a targeted approach including all land regardless of ownership or tenure.
- Private land owners and occupiers in selected areas will be issued with a letter under Section 45 of the Noxious Weeds Act 1993, advising that an inspection of their property will take place. A range of dates will be provided.
- If any noxious weeds are identified on your property, you will be advised in writing which weeds have been found and you will be provided with information to assist you in their control.
- If no noxious weeds are found, you will receive a “No Weeds Letter”, but it is recommended that you regularly check your property for noxious weeds.
- If you need assistance in regard to any aspect of the notification under Section 18A please contact Council immediately on 4587 0230. You also have the opportunity to respond should you wish to appeal against the issuing of this notice. Submissions must be in writing to Council within a period of (14) fourteen days from the date of the notice.
- All submissions should be directed to Chris Stanfield, Operations Manager, PO Box 6021 South Windsor DC 2756. To ensure compliance your property will then be re-inspected on dates to be provided.
- Failure to comply with your obligations under Section 12 of the Act will result in a Weed Control Notice being issued under Section 18. The Notice will be issued with a compliance date of 3 weeks from the date of the notice.
- The property will be re-inspected (as mentioned above) and if compliance is met you will receive a “Letter of Appreciation” from Council.
- If the property is still found to be non-compliant, a Section 20 Notice under the Act will be issued. This notice incurs an administration fee of $475.00 (incl. GST).
- Council will then organise for the required work to be carried out in a timely manner with all associated costs being invoiced to the owner of the property. (This is in addition to the administration fee).
- Council may grant an extension of time for you to take action but will only be granted under extenuating circumstances and where the request is made a minimum of 14 days prior to the due date. All requests for an extension of time should be in writing and directed to the Noxious Weed Operations Manager as mentioned in point 5.
- If a Weed Control Notice has been issued under Section 18 of the Act, a non-refundable fee of $155.00 (incl. GST) will be charged for each re-inspection of the property thereafter to ascertain whether the weed control notice has been complied with.
What To Do If You Receive A Notice
If you have received notification of Council’s Intention to issue a Weed Control Notice (Section 18A) you have fourteen (14) days to appeal in writing against a Weed Control Notice (Section 18) being issued.
The notification shall list;
- the weeds occurring on your property
- and an expiry date for the work to be completed
If you are asked to prepare a Weed Control Strategy this must be submitted within fourteen (14) days of receiving notification.
If you’re unsure about;
- any details in the notice
- the location of the weeds on your property
- or require assistance in preparing a Weed Control Strategy
Council will be happy to provide any further information. Simply call our office on 4587 0230.
How To Remove The Weeds
The process of weed removal needs careful consideration. If you are intending to control the weeds yourself there are a number of aspects to consider. The use of any herbicides or chemicals must strictly follow the label instructions, and you must not infringe any other environmental legislation. This includes restrictions on spraying in sensitive vegetation areas such as drainage lines and any plant community listed under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Using A Professional Contractor
For many people the simplest way of dealing with your noxious weeds is to employ a professional weed control contractor. Council maintains a list of recommended contractors who have a proven track record of achieving compliance with notices whilst not infringing any other relevant legislation. For a list of these companies and their contact details please contact us on 02 4587 0230.
Council Advisory Service
If you have been asked to remove Noxious Weeds on your land and you wish to address the problem yourself but require advice, please contact Chris Stanfield, Council’s Noxious Weed Operations Manager on 4587 0230.
We can assist land owners with:
- Advice and training on safe and effective weed control methods
- Advice on herbicide selection
- Advice on controlling weeds in sensitive vegetation communities
- Tailored weed control strategies for individual sites
- Identification of weeds
- Legislative requirements