Who is responsible for weeds?

Alligator Weed.jpeg

In NSW, weeds are legislated under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act) which is based on the idea that biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility.  The broad objectives for biosecurity in NSW are to manage biosecurity risks from animal and plant pests and diseases, weeds and contaminants by:

  • preventing their entry into NSW;
  • quickly finding, containing and eradicating any new entries; and
  • effectively minimising the impacts of those pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants that cannot be eradicated through robust management arrangements.


Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act) Snowy Monaro Regional Council is the Local Control Authority for weeds within our local government area, which makes Council responsible for:

  • Inspecting all land for high-risk weeds and seeking compliance with the Act from owners/occupiers
  • Monitoring and controlling weeds on high risk sites and pathways
  • Submitting weeds management records to the NSW government
  • Working with a range of stakeholders to develop and implement Regional and Local Weed Management Plans
  • Educating the community about weed risks and best practice weed management

Each year Council’s Biosecurity Officers conduct hundreds of inspections on public and private land across the region to detect, contain and eradicate incursions of state and regional priority weeds before they have the ability to establish. These high priority weeds are ones that pose a significant risk to the community, economy and/or environment and have very limited distribution within the state or region, making the likelihood of eradication high.

In addition to the inspection program, Council’s Biosecurity Officers can assist landholders and occupiers by providing a free, onsite weed identification and advisory service to ensure that land managers have the capacity to identify and manage weeds on their land. Snowy Monaro Regional Council’s biosecurity officers are always happy to answer any queries or concerns you may have about anything growing on your land as well as your legal obligations regarding weeds and the Biosecurity Act 2015. 

If you are a member of a community group and would like a Biosecurity Officer to come to a local event, such as a community meeting or field day please contact Council’s Biosecurity team on 1300 345 345 or send an email Attn: Biosecurity to council@snowymonaro.nsw.gov.au

Owners, Occupiers and the Community

In NSW all plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable. In addition to the general biosecurity duty, species may also be regulated under Schedule 2 (Prohibited Matter), Schedule 3 (Mandatory Measures), Control Orders, Biosecurity Zones, Regional Priority Weeds, and Local Priority Weeds. 

As part of Council’s duty under the Act, Biosecurity Officers inspect each property in the region at least once every 6 years. During these property inspections, Biosecurity Officers search for State and regional priority weeds, assist in identifying problematic weeds, provide advice on best practice weed management, and identify and aim to resolve any potential contraventions of the Biosecurity Act through discussions and information sharing with the owner or occupier. 

Pesticide Use on Public Land

Council has a duty to notify the public of pesticide use on public land, based on the principle that people who live and work in an area have a basic right to know when public places in the area are treated with pesticides. 

Current Notification for Pesticide Use 

Notice of Pesticide Use for the period 1 September 2023 - 30 June 2024

Notice is given pursuant to Part 5 of the Pesticides Regulation 2017 that Snowy Monaro Regional Council will be carrying out the following herbicide applications on roadsides, reserves, operational lands and selected Crown lands within the Snowy Monaro Region:

Flupropanate products for the control of Serrated Tussock, African Lovegrass, Chilean Needle Grass, Coolatai Grass and other exotic, perennial grass weeds.

Glyphosate 450 for the control of exotic, perennial grass weeds as detailed above, in addition to the non-selective control of general weeds around guideposts, signs, under guardrails and in urban situations.

Roundup Biactive or alternative aquatic approved glyphosate formulation for the non-selective control of weeds in aquatic situations.

Grazon Extra, Stinger or Metsulfuron-methyl products for the control of woody weeds, including but not limited to Sweet Briar, Blackberry, St John’s Wort and Scotch/English Broom.

MCPA or Dicamba formulations for the control of Thistles and other susceptible weeds.

Bromoxynil for the control of Fireweed.

For more information call 1300 345 345 or email council@snowymonaro.nsw.gov.au

Biosecurity Advisory Committee

The Snowy Monaro Region Biosecurity (Weeds) Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from a variety of government, industry, and community stakeholders and has a number of purposes including:

  • To provide a regional forum to develop strategies and make recommendations to Council, Land Management Agencies, Community Groups and Landholders for the implementation of weed control programs.
  • To provide the forum by which information and strategies are actively shared between Council and the Community through the Committee’s membership.
  • To initiate and participate in regional programs and to actively encourage participation of other stakeholders where benefits flow to the Council and participating stakeholders. Each program is to be considered on its merits.
  • To provide input into State, regional and local weeds strategies where such strategies influence the management of weeds within the LGA.
  • To present a common approach to Government in applications for grant funding for invasive weed control on the Snowy Monaro

The Committee is made up of the following members or representatives from these organisations: 

  • Nominated Councillor representative(s) – maximum of two
  • SMRC Manager Biosecurity
  • A representative from the following:
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NPWS)
  • Forestry Corporation of NSW
  • Upper Snowy Landcare Network
  • Snowy River Interstate Landcare
  • Upper Murrumbidgee Landcare Committee
  • NSW Farmers Association
  • Monaro Landholders Lovegrass Taskforce
  • South East Local Land Services
  • Snowy Hydro Limited
  • Roads and Maritime Services
  • Essential Energy
  • Friends of Grasslands
  • John Holland Rail
  • Monaro Farming Systems
  • Nimmitabel Advancement Group
  • Rural Fire Service
  • Local agronomists
    • Elders
    • Landmark (Cooma & Bombala)
    • Cooma Rural
    • South East Rural

Independent experts and members of the community are encouraged to attend and speak at a Committee meeting, though shall not maintain voting rights.

The Committee Secretary can be contacted via council@snowymonaro.nsw.gov.au. Correspondence should be marked attention to the “Secretary SMRC Biosecurity Advisory Committee”.