Weeds cause significant damage to our unique environment and it is up to all of us to help control them.


What is a weed?

A weed is a plant that is growing out of its place. There are two main kinds of weeds:

  1. Noxious weeds that are listed in the NSW Noxious Weeds Act 1993. Examples include madeira vine, privet and lantana.
  2. Environmental weeds that are not listed as noxious but that readily spread throughout gardens and bushland. Examples include ehrharta, jasmine and Japanese honeysuckle. 

Why control weeds?

Weeds can rapidly spread throughout gardens and bushland, competing with native bushland or plants we want in our gardens. It can lead to the loss of native plants and animals, reduced water quality and reduced biodiversity.

The NSW Noxious Weeds Act 1993 requires the management of noxious weeds to ensure that people, livestock, our gardens and our bushland are protected from these weeds.

Who is responsible for controlling weeds?

Section 12 of the Act requires that an occupier of land must manage the noxious weeds on that land. Occupier includes the owner, resident, tenant or lessee.

Sections 13 and 14 require public authorities and local control authorities to manage noxious weeds on land they occupy.

Section 36 of the Act requires Council, as the local control authority, to implement the requirements of the Act.

Where is Council controlling noxious weeds?

Council manages more than 2,000 hectares of bushland, as well as many Crown Land reserves. There are more than 18,000 hectares of National Park land adjoining some of these reserves. Council undertakes and manages bush regeneration works in many of these reserves.

Council is a member of the Sydney North Regional Weeds Committee, which identifies future problem weeds and develops control measures.

How does Council control weeds on private property?

It is Council's responsibility to make sure land occupiers are controlling any noxious weeds that are on their property. Council tries very hard to do this in cooperation with the occupier.

The process begins with an inspection of the property. Council officers will never enter your property without permission and they will always carry appropriate identification.

If noxious weeds are found you will receive an information package identifying the weed, its location and the best control methods. In the vast majority of cases residents are pleased to know about the weeds and grateful for the help removing them.

If an occupier does not cooperate in removing the weeds Council may need to take action against them. This can include fines to the owner/occupier with additional costs for the removal of the weeds.

If you need any further information phone Council on 9847 6832 or email naturalresources@hornsby.nsw.gov.au.

How can I control weeds in my garden?

STEP ONE: Don't plant weeds in the first place. Use locally native or non-invasive plants.

STEP TWO: Stop the weeds from flowering, fruiting and spreading. This can involve the removal of fruit and the cutting of vines from trees and fences. Make sure green waste from your garden is not thrown into bushland or drains.

STEP THREE: The ultimate solution is to remove the weeds altogether. This will often involve manual and chemical treatment of the plants.

What are the best weed control methods?

Here are some common demonstrated methods of treating noxious and environmental weeds. Note that some of the treatment methods are more suitable for one type of weed than another and they often require repeated treatment to achieve complete removal. These brochures are available from the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators website.

Do I need to be careful when using herbicides?

Yes. Always follow the directions on the label and the associated Materials Safety Data Sheet. For more information see the Noxious and Environmental Weed Control Handbook.

Are there plants I can't buy or sell?

Yes. It is illegal to buy or sell Class 5 noxious weeds, which have been declared dangerous because they are likely to spread uncontrollably.

See a list of plants not permitted to be sold in Hornsby Shire and a list of plants that are not permitted to be sold within NSW.

How else can I help?

  • Join a local Bushcare group and gain practical skills in plant identification, weed control and bush regeneration.
  • When planting in your garden use locally native species or non-invasive species.
  • Do not throw garden waste into bushland. Use compost bins or Council' green waste bins.
  • Control Noxious Weeds and environmental weeds in accordance with required control measures.

Further information

For more information visit the counter at Council's administration building, Council's Community Nursery or see the following websites:

Look-Alikes: Hornsby Shire Council's Native and Weed Plant Identification Book: