Responsibilities under the Act

General Biosecurity Duty

The General Biosecurity Duty (NSW Biosecurity Act section 22) states that:

"any person who deals with biosecurity matter or a carrier and who knows, or ought reasonably to know, the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by the biosecurity matter, carrier or dealing has a biosecurity duty to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the biosecurity risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised."

Note: Biosecurity matter is defined in the Act (section 10) as —
(a) any living thing, other than a human, or
(b) any part of an animal, plant or living thing, other than a human, or
(c) a product of a living thing, other than a human, or
(d) a disease, or
(e) a prion, or
(f) a contaminant, or
(g) a disease agent that can cause disease in a living thing (other than a human) or that can cause disease in a human via transmission from a non-human host to a human, or
(h) any thing declared by the regulations to be biosecurity matter.

Council Obligations

As a land manager, Council must prevent, eliminate or minimise the risk posed by priority weeds found on land under its control. Council is also the Local Control Authority for the Cowra Shire Local Government Area, which means Council is responsible for administering and enforcing the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 in respect to weeds. This includes inspecting private and public lands to ensure owners/managers of land carry out their obligations.

Council meets these obligations by:
• Controlling priority weeds on Council managed land
• Inspecting private and government lands
• Takes a coordinated, educational and broader landscape approach to working with residents, community groups, agencies and research to ensure obligations are met

Landholder Obligations

Minimum requirements to discharge your General Biosecurity Duty:

• Have a written Biosecurity Plan detailing high risk entry pathway
• Find out where, and keep records of products brought onto the property (such as fodder, soil, mulch, gravel, feed grain and hay) have originated, or have relevant certification as to weed free status in case trace back is required
• Hold new or moved stock in a specified area for the required time before integration with other stock
• Minimize the risk of weed seeds spreading onto neighboring land by having weed free buffer zones between land and other priority assets (a Priority Asset is defined as production areas, healthy landscapes, high biodiversity areas, areas of cultural, social, environmental or economic significance, State or Council owned assets. Size of weed free buffer zones are determined on the weed’s dispersal method, vectors and pathways.
• Weed density/infestations must be controlled in order to minimize or continuously suppress spread
• Land managers should implement Best Practice Management for each Priority Weed on their land, and follow any requirements set by the published State/ Regional/Local Plan
• Regularly monitor your land for new weed incursions

Please refer to Central Tablelands Strategic Weed Management Plan 2023-2027(PDF, 6MB) for a comprehensive list of Priority Weeds for this Region.

Local Priority weeds have a published management plan that has been assessed under the State Weed Risk Management System and may not be contained within the Regional Plan due to the 5-year cycle for Regional Plans.

All properties are individually assessed on the risk posed to neighboring properties free of the weed, or working towards free of the weed status, high risk pathways, or assets of high economic, social or conservation value.