With the new Biosecurity Act 2015 coming into effect on 1 July 2017, a new landscape for minimising, preventing and eliminating biosecurity risks in NSW has been created, including providing a greater level of teeth to control authorities such as Upper Macquarie County Council.
The Upper Macquarie County Council (UMCC) is the local control authority for weeds biosecurity threats (noxious weeds) in the Bathurst Regional Council, Blayney and Oberon Shire councils and the Lithgow City Council areas. As the control authority it is responsible for an area of almost 13,500 square kilometres, 77,000 residents, over 4,000kms of roads and nearly 11,000 properties of a rural and rural-residential nature.
“The Upper Macquarie County Council is taking this new responsibility very seriously” said Upper Macquarie County Council Chairman, Cr Ian North. “Weeds like blackberry, serrated tussock, St Johns Wort and Scotch Broom can have a dramatic impact on our way of life.”
"Council wants to educate landholders on the problems of weeds like blackberry, serrated tussock, St Johns Wort and Scotch Broom and encourage them on taking action to reduce the impacts of these weeds. Unfortunately there are still some landholders that do not take the issue seriously enough and it is these people that Council is taking sterner action with, as a result a number of Biosecurity Directions have been issued by Council to landholders who are not doing their part.” “It can be very disappointing to see landholders that are committed to taking good action to control the weeds on their property but then see a neighbour taking little action. It is people like this that makes it difficult for the rest.”
“Council would rather see landholders use their money to control weeds but fines may be issued to landholders that do not control weeds on their property and these fines can be quite expensive.” “There are a number of options available to landholders in controlling weeds but we advocate an integrated approach to weed management that involves a coordinated use of a variety of control methods, reducing reliance on herbicides, and increasing the chances of successful control or even eradication.” “With the increasing rates f herbicide resistance it is becoming increasingly important that a more integrated approach to weed management is used. The best way therefore to manage weeds is by combining herbicide use with non-chemical control options, including physical, biological and cultural control measures” concluded Councillor North.
More information on biosecurity weed threats and their control can be found on at umcc.nsw.gov.au or the NSW Department of Primary Industries www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/weeds