Weeds pose an ever increasing threat to the natural environment, primary industries and human and animal health. The NSW Invasive Species Plan describes the current context and objectives for invasive species management in the state. It is important for weed policy and legislation to keep pace with current weed management in NSW. As part of this, the Noxious Weeds Act 1993. is currently undergoing a five year review (2010-2011). A discussion paper on the important issues has been prepared. It is hoped that this will result in laws to prevent invasive plant material being released into the landscape, either by accident or commercial activity.
Some invasive plants are declared noxious under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993. In this case, state and local government specify actions relating to notification and/or control should they be found. Other invasive plants are currently being assessed for declaration. Many plant species not yet declared are strongly discouraged because they invade. To find out about some see: “What is this Weed?” and/or some of the Sydney Weeds Committee regional plans
Regional plans are developed in accordance with the NSW Invasive Species Plan which has the following goals:
- Exclude – prevent the establishment of new invasive species
We believe that the best way to achieve this is to ensure that any new species planned for release into the regional environment must first undergo a weed risk assessment according to the process established by the state government.
- Eradicate or contain – eliminate or prevent the spread of new invasive species
An effective regional weed alert system will help to achieve this as will directing regional resources to areas of greatest risk of spread.
- Effectively manage – reduce the impacts of widespread invasive species
This involves controlling weeds and preventing spread in and around the most significant natural regional assets, endangered remnants of native bushland, wetlands, habitat corridors, waterways.
The first principal of the NSW Invasive Species Plan involves not using or planting invasive species at the outset. As weeds know no boundaries and spread by water, wind, animals and humans, this principle needs to be followed by everyone. If we fail to win this important battle against weed invasion, we will lose biodiversity and control over our land and water resources.
For further information on any of these matters please see the NSW government site: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/weeds/legislation
To find out plants already declared noxious in your council area: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/weeds/noxweed