What is a weed?

A weed is a pest plant that has an adverse effect on the environment, the economy or the community. Weeds cause problems when they:

  • compete with other organisms for food, water, nutrients, habitat and sunlight and reduce biodiversity
  • transmit disease
  • harm other organisms through their toxicity
  • reduce the productivity of agricultural systems or the value of agricultural products.

Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (NSW), everyone has a legal obligation to manage identified priority weeds on land that they own or occupy.

Weeds in your area

You can find out which weeds are a problem locally by reading the Local Land Services publication Weeds of the North Coast of NSW.

What Council is doing

Council has a number of weed management functions under the Biosecurity Act 2015. We are continually working to:

  • prevent, minimise and manage the biosecurity risk posed by weeds
  • develop, implement and review weed control programs
  • inspect lands for high-risk weeds and seek compliance from owners or occupiers
  • educate the community about weed risk and best practice weed management
  • participate in regional strategic weeds management.

Your role as a land owner

If you're a land owner or land manager, you have a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise the biosecurity risk posed by weeds.

If there's evidence that you are failing in your duty to control weeds on your land, Council can issue a direction to prevent, eliminate or minimise the biosecurity risk.

For information on weed control, see the NSW Government’s Weed Control Handbook.

The Department of Primary Industries also provides detailed information and advice on weeds for primary producers.

Your role in the community

There’s plenty you can do to help us manage weeds in the Macleay Valley. For example, you can:

  • learn to recognise which weeds grow in your area and report weeds to Council
  • practise good hygiene to ensure that weed seeds are not transported by vehicle, clothing, shoes, animals and soil
  • dispose of garden waste in your green bin or at a Council waste and recycling centre
  • cover your trailer when transporting plant material
  • stay on designated tracks when walking, horse riding, driving or riding bikes through national parks and other natural areas
  • make informed decisions when buying plants for your garden, pond or aquarium
  • check importation and biosecurity rules before ordering and/or sending plant material from other states or countries
  • never put aquarium water or contents down drains or into waterways
  • volunteer for your local Landcare or bush regeneration group.

More information

Macleay Landcare Network

Weeds Australia

Weed Society of New South Wales

Grow Me Instead

Coolatai grass and control methods

NSW WeedWise

North Coast Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2023-2027