Regional Councils in NSW have responsibilities in relation to weeds. These include inspecting lands for high-risk weeds and seeking landowner compliance with the NSW Biosecurity Act.
Councils are also required, as land managers, to control high-risk weeds on lands for which they are responsible.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council engages local contractors to manage weeds on Council land. This helps prevent the establishment of new weeds and protects our region’s valued agricultural and environmental assets.
Vehicles contribute to the spread of weeds and, excluding Crown and private roads, Council is responsible for the management of weeds on roadsides. In the 2021 financial year, Council spent in excess of $750,000 on roadside weed control efforts and $100,000 controlling weeds on community and operational lands. This effort equated to over 6720 hours of on-ground weed control.
In this same period Council’s Biosecurity Officers spent many hours hand spraying and manually removing isolated weed infestations. This included the removal of more than 25 garbage bags of Fireweed from roadsides on the region’s eastern fringe, plus four garbage bags of the emerging weed, Coolatai grass, from nominated eradication sites along the Monaro Highway.
Council also administers Crown Land weed control grants to manage a range of invasive weeds on unoccupied Crown lands. In 2021 this added an extra $140,000 to the weed control work that Council delivers on behalf of the community.
In NSW, all landowners and occupiers have a general biosecurity duty to prevent the introduction and spread of weeds. Council appointed Biosecurity Officers help individual landholders discharge their general biosecurity duty by providing advisory and compliance activities during onsite property inspections, hosting community field days, sharing informative resources, as well as education and extension activities.
Certain weed species are well established in our region and are referred to as ‘widespread weeds’. Eradication of these species is not economically viable nor reasonably practicable; rather Council’s objective is to protect agricultural and environmental assets from these weeds and minimise further spread.