Weeds legislation has changed!

 As of 1 July 2017 weed legislation has changed. Following public consultation, the Biosecurity Act 2015 was passed by Parliament in September 2015. This replaced a number of Acts including the Noxious Weeds Act 1993. On 1 July 2017 the new Biosecurity Act 2015 commenced, supported by the Biosecurity Regulations 2017. For more information on the new Biosecurity Act 2015, you can visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity


A weed can be defined simply as a plant that is growing out of place, or in an unsuitable location. However, some weeds are declared to be “Priority Weeds” by the Department of Primary Industries due to the significant negative impact that they can have on the community, the environment or the economy. A number of these weeds are found in the Maitland area and require all occupiers of land (including Council) to prevent, eliminate or minimise the risk that they pose according to the Biosecurity Act 2015. To view the list of priority weeds for the Maitland Local Government Area, and the specific requirements under the Act, you can visit http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/ and select “Maitland” from the region dropdown list.

Your role

All occupiers of land (including urban, rural, private and public) are responsible for ensuring that the risks posed by weeds found on their land are prevented, eliminated or minimised according to the Biosecurity Act 2015. The occupier in relation to land, includes any person having the care, control or management of the land.  The 'General biosecurity dutyinformation provided on the Department of Primary Industries website provides further information about your responsibilities in relation to weeds.

Council’s role

As a land manager, Council must prevent, eliminate or minimise the risk posed by weeds found on land under its control, according to the Biosecurity Act 2015. Council is also the Local Control Authority for the Maitland Local Government Area. This means that Council is responsible for administering and enforcing the Biosecurity Act 2015 with respect to weeds.

Weed inspections

As a landowner in the Maitland area you may receive a letter from Council advising of an upcoming inspection for weeds on your property. The purpose of an inspection is to reduce the negative impact of weeds by identifying any weed issues and advising the occupier on best-practice weed management. Following an inspection, Council will inform the occupier of their responsibilities (if any) under the Biosecurity Act 2015, in relation to weeds.

Regional weed management

As an active member of the Hunter Regional Weeds Committee, Maitland City Council is working together with the community, other councils, government agencies, and land managers within the Hunter region to achieve a coordinated and collaborative approach to weed management. This has resulted in the development of the Hunter Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017 – 2022.

If you would like more information in relation to weeds in the Maitland area you can contact Council's Technical Weeds Advisor on (02) 4934 9637.