Weeds are plant species that are out of place in the natural environment. They can often produce vast quantities of seed which spread across into the natural ecosystem by wind, water, birds (and other animals) and humans.
Many local bushland reserves are under threat from weeds escaping from gardens, with birds eating and spreading the seeds or from vegetation and grass clippings dumped into the bush. Weeds can take hold of an area quickly, impacting local biodiversity by smothering native plants and altering wildlife habitat.
Weed legislation has been reformed, with the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015
replacing the Noxious Weed Act,1993. This Act provides a statutory framework to protect the economy, environment and community from the negative impacts of pests, diseases and weeds.
Weed biosecurity includes:
- preventing the entry of new weeds;
- finding, containing and eradicating emerging weeds; and
- minimising the impacts from weeds that cannot be eradicated.
Weeds are now divided into State, Regional and Local Priority Weeds (formerly referred to as Noxious Weeds). The Greater Sydney Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017 - 2022 identifies State and Regional Priority Weeds and outcomes to demonstrate compliance with the General Biosecurity Duty. Council is a member of the Sydney North Sub Regional Weeds Committee, which coordinates a regional approach to weed management.
Priority Weeds threaten natural biological diversity, human health and property and/or agricultural productivity. Not all weeds identified as Priority Weeds are found in Lane Cove at present, but they have the potential to become serious weeds or are already serious weeds elsewhere in NSW. They are identified so that they can be eradicated or controlled as soon as they appear.
Which species are Priority Weeds?
To view the Priority Weeds list for the Lane Cove Local Government Area and how best to manage them, visit the NSW Department of Primary Industry website
and select 'Lane Cove' in the priority weeds search bar.
Who is responsible for controlling Priority Weeds?
Weeds are everyone's responsibility. Together we can help minimise the harmful impacts of weeds on our environment.
Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, as the Local Control Authority, Council has a legal obligation to manage the biosecurity risk posed to human health, the economy, community and the environment by weeds. Council manages weeds on Council land through its bushland management programs. Council also inspects private land to ensure land owners/managers are carrying out their obligations.
All landowners or land managers have a responsibility to control Priority Weeds on their property, known as a General Biosecurity Duty. If you notice invasive weeds coming up on your property, you will need to control them as soon as possible to prevent them spreading to other properties or into bushland.
Identifying and Managing Weeds
My neighbour has weeds - what can I do?
The quickest and most effective way of dealing with weed issues on your neighbours' property is to foster good relations with your neighbour and seek to resolve the issues together. If this is not possible, contact Council and an authorised officer will inspect the property to assess whether the plant has legislative requirements to be controlled under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. If so, Council can proceed with the matter.
If there are no legislative requirements but the officer deems the plant poses a significant biosecurity risk that can be reasonably and practicably addressed, then the matter can also be taken further. If this is not the case and you still can't resolve the issue with your neighbour, contact NSW Community Justice Centre for free advice and mediation. Taking a neighbour to court should always be a last resort.
If issues between neighbours cannot be resolved through direct engagement or mediation, another avenue is the legislation, Trees (Disputes between neighbours) Act 2006 and its Regulations. This Act sets out the circumstances where the Act applies and provides possible actions. The regulations state that for the purposes of the Act that Bamboo and any plant that is a vine are defined as trees.
Can I get help controlling weeds on my property?
Council Officers can provide information and advice on how to control weeds, however we are unable to undertake works directly on your property. The Australian Association of Bush Regenerators has a list of professional bush regenerators who may be able to help you, or check local newspapers for garden maintenance businesses.
For frail and older people, carers, and people with a disability, Easy Care Gardening provides a subsidised gardening service within the area by teams of willing volunteers.