The relevant legislation is the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 (NWA). The NWA was reviewed and amended with the changes coming into force on 1 March 2006.
The NWA is administered by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, with Local Control Authorities (LCAs) responsible for implementing the Act on private lands. The LCAs are usually (but not always) either the local government for the area or a special purpose county council.
The Act also establishes the Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee which provides advice and recommendations to the Minister for Primary Industries on all matters relating to the control of noxious weeds in NSW.
The objectives of the NWA are:
(a) to reduce the negative impact of weeds on the economy, community and environment of this State by establishing control mechanisms to:
(i) prevent the establishment in this State of significant new weeds; and
(ii) restrict the spread in this State of existing significant weeds, and
(iii) reduce the area in this State of existing significant weeds,
(b) to provide for the monitoring of and reporting on the effectiveness of the management of weeds in this State.
Section 7 of the Act states:
The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, make a weed control order for a specified plant.
A weed order is to do the following:
declare that the plant is a noxious weed,
apply a weed control class or classes to the plant,
specify the land (being part or the whole of the State) to which the order applies,
specify the control measures that are to be, or may be, used to control the plant in general or particular circumstances,
specify the control objectives for the plant,
specify the term of the order (being a period not exceeding 5 years).
A plant that is the subject of a weed control order is a “noxious weed” for the purposes of this Act.
An order takes effect from the date of its publication in the Gazette or on a later date specified in the order.
The Minister may not make an order declaring any plant that is native to the State to be a noxious weed, except with the consent of the Minister administering the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
Section 8 of the Act states:
The following weed control classes may be applied to a plant by a weed control order:
Class 1, State Prohibited Weeds,
Class 2, Regionally Prohibited Weeds,
Class 3, Regionally Controlled Weeds,
Class 4, Locally Controlled Weeds,
Class 5, Restricted Weeds.
The characteristics of each class are as follows:
Class 1 noxious weeds are plants that pose a potentially serious threat to primary production or the environment and are not present in the State or are present only to a limited extent.
Class 2 noxious weeds are plants that pose a potentially serious threat to primary production or the environment of a region to which the order applies and are not present in the region or are present only to a limited extent.
Class 3 noxious weeds are plants that pose a serious threat to primary production or the environment of an area to which the order applies, are not widely distributed in the area and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.
Class 4 noxious weeds are plants that pose a threat to primary production, the environment or human health, are widely distributed in an area to which the order applies and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.
Class 5 noxious weeds are plants that are likely, by their sale or the sale of their seeds or movement within the State or an area of the State, to spread in the State or outside the State.
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”.
Section 28 of the Act states:
A person (including a public authority) must not sell or purchase any:
notifiable weed material or other noxious weed material prescribed by the regulations; or
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 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.
There are five outcome based control classes of noxious weeds defined under the NWA based on state, regional or local impacts (see section 8 of the Act above).
Noxious weeds are declared on either an LCA basis or for the whole of the State under the following conditions:
A declaration for a control Class 1 weed must be for the whole of NSW;
A declaration for a Control Class 2 weed may be for a part or parts of NSW, but must include a minimum of 3 adjoining local control authority areas;
A declaration for a Control Class 3 may be for all or part of NSW, but must include a minimum of 3 adjoining local control authority areas; and
A declaration proposal for a Control Class 4 weed may be for a single local control authority area or parts of a local control authority area.
Further information can be found on the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries’ website (http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au) under Farm Management > Weeds Management. The website includes a searchable noxious weeds database (http://www.agric.nsw.gov.au/noxweed/).
C1 Class 1 – State Prohibited Weed. Class 1 weeds are also notifiable weeds.
C2 Class 2 – Regionally Prohibited Weed. Class 2 weeds are also notifiable weeds.
C3 Class 3 – Regionally Controlled Weed.
C4 Class 4 – Locally Controlled Weed.
C5 Class 5 – Restricted Weed. Class 5 weeds are also notifiable weeds.
Weeds are declared on a Local Control Authority (LCA) basis and declarations for the same noxious weed can vary across the State. There are 128 LCAs. The NSW Department of Primary Industries’ weeds database lists weeds by LCA/category/common name/scientific name.
(Numbers) Numbers following categories refer to the number of LCAs in which the weed is declared.
(S) The weed is declared statewide.
a All Cuscuta spp. except the native species C. australis, C. tasmanica, C. victoriana.
b All Opuntia spp. except Opuntia ficus-indica (Indian fig).
c All Orobanche spp. except Orobanche minor and Orobanche australiana (Orobanche cernua var australiana – Australian broomrape).
d All Oxalis spp. and varieties except the native species O. chnoodes, O.exilis, O. perennans, O. radicosa, O. rubens, and O. thompsoniae.
e All Romulea spp. and varieties except R. rosea var. australis.
f All Salix spp. except for the permitted species, S. babylonica (weeping willow), S. x calodendron (pussy willow), S. x reichardtii (pussy willow) in the majority of LCAs. S. nigra and S. cinerea are also C3 weeds in some LCAs.
g All Striga spp. except native species and S. parviflora.
Acetosa Sagittata C4(7)
Anbrosia Artemisiifolia C5(S)
Cirsium Arvense C4(2)
Equisetum Spp. C1(S)
Hypericum Perforatum C3(36)/C4(77)
Lantana Camara C3(3)/C4(47)/C5(S)
Olea Europea C4(1)
Opuntia Stricta C4(S)
Oxalis Spp. C5(S)
Parietaria Judaica C4(36)
Raphanus Raphanistrum C4(23)
Ricinus Communis C3(1) C4(34)
Rosa Robuginosa C4(41)
Rubus Fruticosus C4(1)
Salix Spp. C5(S)
Senecio Madagascariensis C4(13)