Environmental issues

Pests and weeds

Weed Control

Who is responsible for managing weeds in NSW?

NSW Department of Primary Industries - the primary government agency for weed control in NSW. It is responsible for implementing the NSW Noxious Weeds Act 1993.

  • prevention (quarantine) and management of new weed outbreaks in NSW
  • weeds research programs
  • declaration of noxious weed species (through the Noxious Weed Advisory Committee)
  • weeds policy, planning and risk assessment, and weeds education and awareness programs (e.g. Weedbusters).

Local control authorities - responsible for enforcing the control of noxious weeds and for undertaking weed control measures on council-managed lands.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service - manages weeds on national parks and reserves, in collaboration with other groups and agencies. Under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, the NPWS is responsible for developing threat abatement plans for weeds that have been listed as key threatening processes. Tthe NPWS has prepared regional pest management strategies to manage weeds and pest animals in national parks and reserves across NSW. These strategies provide a strategic approach to pest management and feed into the delivery of the NSW Biosecurity Strategy 2013-2021.

Weed control methods

The method you use to control environmental weeds depends on the species of weed being managed, the levels of weed infestation, the sensitivity of the environment and the resources available (time, labour, equipment and finances). The Noxious and environmental weed control handbook is a great resource that should be consulted when deciding on approrpiate weed management techniques. The Department of Primary Industries also provides information on management of specific weeds and in certain situations.

Useful Links - Biocontrol

Biological control/Biocontrol - aims to reduce the effect of weeds by introducing their natural enemies. In Australia national research on biocontrol is carried out by CSIRO and various government agencies. In NSW, NSW Department of Primary Industries also does biocontrol research. Biocontrol programs are regulated by the Biological Control Act 1985.

Useful Links - Chemical Control

Chemical control - Herbicides are an important tool for managing weeds. Many modern herbicides are very selective, effectively controlling only specific weeds, leaving other plants unharmed. Herbicide use requires specialised knowledge and training and any herbicide application must, by law, comply with label directions.

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority - herbicide registrations, permits and a search engine for product information

Pesticides - information about pesticide use in NSW.

NSW Pesticides Act 1999

Useful links - Mechanical Control

Mechanical control - methods include hand-pulling, slashing, digging, grubbing, bark-stripping, felling and bulldozing. These methods may also be combined with burning, tilling or burial of the weeds.

Hand removal of small plants (PDF - 102KB)

Control of vines and scramblers (PDF - 115KB)

Control of weeds with underground reproductive structures (PDF - 116KB)

Control of woody weeds (PDF - 112KB)

Useful Links - Integrated Weed Management

Integrated weed management (IWM) is likely to be most effective in controlling weeds. It involves a sustainable approach to long-term management of weeds using a combination of techniques such as biological control, cultural practices, mechanical and chemical control and habitat manipulation. IWM is designed to minimise economic, health and environmental risks.

CRC for Australian Weed Management

Useful Links - Weed control (General)

Weeds CRC weed management guides

Queensland Environmental Weeds Management

Weed prevention and control strategies

Australian Weeds Strategy - aims to prevent new weed problems reduce the impact of existing weeds of national significance and provide the framework and capacity for ongoing management of weed problems of national significance.

NSW Invasive Species Plan - Provides a framework for the management of weeds, vertebrate pests, invertebrate pests and freshwater and marine aquatic pests in NSW

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service includes information on the national quarantine status of species.

Plant Health Australia works to improve the ability of Australian agriculture to respond to plant pests, weeds and diseases.

Page last updated: 18 February 2016