What is a weed and how does Mansfield Shire Council manage them?
What is a weed?
A weed is a plant that establishes itself outside its normal environment. There are over 80 Declared Noxious Weeds in the Goulburn Broken Catchment. Noxious weeds are proclaimed under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 and are classified in four categories, each with different responsibility for management.
Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, it is an offence (without a permit) to buy, offer to buy, sell, offer to sell, possess for the purpose of sale, wilfully bring or cause to be brought into Victoria, a noxious weed, noxious weed seed or any part of a noxious weed capable of growing. For further information or to report a possible sighting of a Declared Noxious Weed please contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Roadside weed management
The Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (“CaLP Act”) was amended on 18 November 2013 resulting in the introduction of a new system of roadside weed and pest management. The Catchment and Land Protection Amendment Act 2013 (“Amending Act”) has introduced a new system whereby municipal councils are required to prepare a roadside weed and pest animal management plan for land in their municipal district that is the subject of a declaration published in the Victoria Government Gazette.
On the occurrence of the declaration, the particular council mentioned in the Gazette will be responsible for the implementation of the approved plan for the period of the plans operation, which will be between 2 and 4 years depending on the requirements of the relevant declaration. The roadside weed and pest animal plans are only funded to address regionally prohibited weeds, regionally controlled weeds and established pest animals on rural municipal roads.
The Mansfield Roadside Weed and Pest Animal Plan is developed in consultation with State Government departments, Up2Us Landcare Alliance and the Mansfield Shire Environment Advisory Committee. The plan sets out priority areas for works in the Mansfield Shire over the duration of the plan.
The Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 specifies four categories of noxious weeds in Victoria. These are; State Prohibited, Regionally Prohibited, Regionally Controlled and Regionally Constricted.
State Prohibited Weeds
These weeds either do not yet occur in Victoria but pose a significant threat if they invade, or are present, and do pose a serious threat and that it is reasonable to expect that they can be eradicated from Victoria. Control of these weeds is the responsibility of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) wherever they occur throughout Victoria.
For more information, visit Agriculture Victoria
Regionally prohibited weeds
Declared noxious weeds that are not widely distributed across Victoria, but are capable of spreading. It is reasonable to expect that they can be eradicated from a region. Private landholders are responsible for control on private land but not on roadsides adjoining their property, which are the responsibility of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources or Vic Roads, depending on the class of road.
See here for more information.
Regionally Controlled Weeds
Declared noxious weeds that are widespread and established in a region. To prevent their spread, continuing control measures are required. Landholders have the responsibility to take all reasonable steps to control and prevent the spread of these weeds on their land and roadsides that adjoin their land.
Click here for more information.
This includes plants that are a serious threat to primary production, Crown land, the environment or community health in another State or Territory of Australia, which have the potential to spread into and within Victoria, and pose an unacceptable risk of spreading in this State or to other parts of Australia if they were to be sold or traded in Victoria. Trade in these weeds and material containing them is prohibited.
See here for a list of restricted weeds.
Serious Agricultural Weeds
- Carpet Grass
- Mullumbimby Couch
- Parramatta Grass
Goulburn Broken Weed Action Plan
The Goulburn Broken Weed Action Plan was developed by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA) with the aim of including pest plant management in integrated catchment management in the Goulburn Broken Catchment Region. Weed management is acknowledged as a key factor by the GBCMA to improving the health of environmental conditions in the catchment. The Action Plan provides a regional approach to weed management that complements the existing directions in the National Weeds Strategy and the Victorian Weeds Strategy.
The Action Plan endeavours to actively involve; public land managers, private land managers, local government, water authorities, infrastructure agencies and community groups. The Action Plan aims to:
- Identify priority areas for weed control programs to focus limited resources more strategically
- Protect threatened assets, such as agricultural industries and biodiversity
- Establish regional priority weed species
- Encourage community ownership of weed program priorities
- Clearly identify roles and responsibilities for all land managers
- Provide a framework for investment on public and private land
The GBCMA have developed an identification booklet for Weeds of the Goulburn Broken Catchment. To obtain a copy, please find more information on the GBCMA website.
Weed Spotters assist the Victorian Government by looking out for and reporting State prohibited weeds. The Weed Spotters program is for those who work in an industry or who are part of a group where they are likely to spend time in places where State prohibited weeds could be found.
If you are interested in becoming a Weed Spotter, please find further information on the DEDJTR website.
Local weed initiatives
Current Department of Primary Industries weed projects running in the local area include:
- Howqua - BlackBerry control program
- Swanpool - BlackBerry control program
- Merton - BlackBerry extension program
- Yea - BlackBerry extension program
- Mt Buller - Hawk weed
For more information visit the Invasive Plants and Animals page at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website. More specific documents are available such us Weed Risk Ratings and Early Invader Weeds.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
89 Sydney Road
Benalla Vic 3672
03) 5761 1611
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm
Customer Service Centre: 136 186
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA)
168 Welsford Street
PO Box 1752
Shepparton Vic 3632
03) 5820 1100