Local Government NSW (LGNSW) provides support and advocacy on behalf of member councils on biosecurity issues, including weeds and pests.
Weeds and pests threaten valuable agricultural industries, reduce the economic viability of communities, affect human health, and pose a major threat to our unique biodiversity. Weeds alone cost NSW $600 million and Australia $4 billion every year in lost production and control measures.
Biosecurity is the protection of the economy, environment and community from negative impacts associated with pests, diseases and weeds. The NSW Biosecurity Strategy (2013-2021) introduced the principle of shared responsibility for biosecurity.
The Biosecurity Act 2015 establishes a general biosecurity duty to make sure responsibility for biosecurity risk is shared among government, industry and the community. This means if you deal with biosecurity matter or are a carrier, you need to identify the risks it may pose and act to manage or mitigate the risk.
Weed management has been the responsibility of local government in NSW for more than 100 years. Local control authorities (often councils) have specific responsibilities for the regulation of weeds. Councils can fulfil these responsibilities either individually or as a collective to harness resources and capabilities.
NSW DPI has developed Weeds and the Biosecurity Act - a handbook for local councils and councillors in NSW to provide an overview of the statutory responsibilities and functions given to local councils under the Act to manage weeds in their local government areas.
The handbook also identifies the training and support that is available to local control authority/council staff to assist them in their weed management role and describes the role of other key stakeholders that are responsible for weed management governance, implementation and planning in NSW.
Local Land Services also has responsibility for coordinating Regional Pest Animal Committees, which have prepared five-year Regional Strategic Pest Management Plans.
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