Noxious and environmental weeds
Noxious weeds are plants that pose a threat to agriculture, the environment or the community and have the potential to spread to other areas. The City of Sydney is responsible for ensuring noxious plants are controlled both on public and private land across the local area.
Under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 the City has the power as the local control authority to inspect private land and issue orders for owners or occupiers to control noxious weeds.
There are currently 5 control classes that determine how noxious weeds need to be handled:
- Class 1: State prohibited weeds – the plant must be eradicated from the land and the land must be kept free of the plant.
- Class 2: Regionally prohibited weeds – the plant must be eradicated from the land and the land must be kept free of the plant.
- Class 3: Regionally controlled weeds – the plant must be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
- Class 4: Locally controlled weeds – the growth of the plant must be managed in a way that reduces its numbers, spread and incidence, and continually stops reproducing. The plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed.
- Class 5: Restricted plants – you must comply with the notifiable weed requirements in the act.
Class 1, 2 and/or 5 noxious weeds are notifiable weeds. If you detect these noxious weeds on your property you must notify the City within 24 hours.
The Minister for Primary Industries declares noxious weeds geographically. Any particular plant may be declared across one council area, numerous council areas, a region or the entire state. Across NSW, noxious weed lists include many agricultural, bushland, aquatic, roadside and allergenic weeds. Many of these weeds are not as common and widespread in urban environments.
The Department of Primary Industries maintains a current list of declared noxious weeds across the state including identifications and appropriate control measures. You can use the site's search function to find out about declared noxious weeds across the City's local area.
Traditionally, the majority of declared weeds have been agricultural weeds based on the need to protect agricultural production. Recently, the number of environmental weeds has increased on the declared noxious weeds list.
The act was amended in 2006 to acknowledge the need to reduce the impact that some weeds have on the biodiversity and ecological integrity of vegetation and waterways across NSW. Not all environmental weeds that grow in the City are currently declared noxious, but we may recommend their inclusion at a future date.
These examples show some of the noxious weeds that can be found across the City of Sydney local area. The Department of Primary Industries maintains a complete list of declared noxious weeds across the City and other local control areas in NSW.
Class 1 – State Prohibited Weeds
Class 2 – Regionally prohibited weeds
Class 3 – Regionally controlled weeds
Class 4 – Locally controlled weeds
Class 5 – Restricted plants
Images credit: NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)
Last updated: Thursday, 7 May 2015