Council highlight resident responsibility for invasive weeds

KEEP AN EYE OUT: Noxious Weeds Officer at the Bogan Shire Council Brian Bonello. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN
KEEP AN EYE OUT: Noxious Weeds Officer at the Bogan Shire Council Brian Bonello. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN

The Bogan Shire Council and Local Land Services are reminding residents of their responsibility to be on the lookout for invasive weeds on their properties. 

New changes to the Biosecurity Act 2015 mean landowners have a responsibility to “prevent, eliminate or minimise a biosecurity risk” such as noxious weeds on their properties. 

Noxious or invasive weeds are plants that pose a threat to agriculture, the environment or the community and have the potential to spread to other areas.

Noxious Weeds Officer at the Bogan Shire Council Brian Bonello said it’s important for residents to be aware of their obligations and what to look out for as “biosecurity begins in your backyard”. 

He said if residents notice invasive weeds on their property it’s important to control them as soon as possible to prevent them spreading to other properties or native bushland. 

“The main message is we’re trying to stop the introduction of new weeds, control existing ones, but stop new weeds that are out of the state,” Mr Bonello said. 

“The main aim of the program is to stop the parthenium weed from entering NSW.”

He said parthenium (an invasive weed found in Queensland) causes many problems in crops and costs Australia’s beef industry $16.5 million and the cropping industry several million each year. 

Mr Bonello said local invasive weeds residents should keep an eye out for include green cestrum, which he said can impact livestock, domestic animals and humans. 

“It’s commonly found in gardens and a lot of people don’t know they’ve got it,” he said.  

Another common invasive weed found within the Bogan Shire, is blue heliotrope.

Mr Bonello said this is an invasive weed, typically found on the side of the road or in paddocks, which impact bushland by excluding and competing with native plant growth and regeneration. 

Other invasive weeds residents should look out for is tiger pear and coolatai grass because of their invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts.

In accordance with the Biosecurity Act 2015, a person who contravenes a biosecurity direction is guilty of an offence and a penalty may be issued.

The Act also states authorised officers may enter any premises at any reasonable time or in the case of emergency if it is suspected there is a biosecurity risk. 

Mr Bonello said residents can visit the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s WeedWise website to discover more about the new legislation or what you need to know about invasive weeds. 

“Anyone with any concerns or issues can contact me at the Bogan Shire Council,” Mr Bonello said.

To contact Mr Bonello phone 0488 273 048.