Local government responsibility for weeds

Local government has a legal responsibility for managing weeds across their lands under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015

Local councils that are the local control authorities for weeds under the Act must deliver specific weed management functions and:

  • appoint and support staff as authorised officers under the Act
  • inspect lands for high-risk weeds and seek compliance with the Act from owners/occupiers,
  • educate their communities about weeds risk and best practice weeds management,
  • control high-risk weeds
  • submit reports about these activities to the Biosecurity Information System as per the NSW Metadata Standard
  • participate in regional strategic weeds management through their Regional Weed Committee.

Local government weed management priorities should be guided by the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans.

Weeds and the Biosecurity Act - A handbook for local councils and councillors

This handbook is aimed at local councils and councillors.

Topics covered include;

  • Local government and weeds management
  • The Biosecurity Act and local government
  • The role of authorised officers
  • Training
  • Other stakeholders in NSW weeds management
  • Additional information

Weeds management standard

The Standard for Weed Management Capacity in NSW describes the components that local control authorities should have in place to manage weed risk effectively. The NSW Department of Primary Industries will audit local control authorities against the Standard and support them to meet the Standard.

Weeds Action Program

The NSW Weeds Action Program (WAP) provides funding to local government for weeds. Eligible activities include:

  • Early detection of high-risk weeds through inspections and surveillance of high risk sites and pathways.
  • Responding to biosecurity emergencies.
  • Eradication and containment of high-risk weeds.
  • Increasing the capacity of the community to identify, report and manage weeds.


Authorised officers have diverse and often difficult roles. Access to ongoing training and professional development is crucial. Full or part qualification in Certificate IV Government Investigations and part or full Qualifications in Certificate to Diploma level qualifications in Conservation and Land Management (weeds specialisation) is recommended. NSW DPI also supports delivery of non-accredited training to enhance weeds management outcomes.

NSW Weeds Action Program 2023 - 2024

Weeds Action Program regional sub-program funding arrangements will now be made through a grant application process. The 2023-2024 Program Guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQ) can be found at the NSW Government Grants and Funding webpage. Where the Regional Sub-program 2023-2024 for Local Control Authorities for Weeds is inconsistent with the NSW Weeds Action Program Guidelines 2020-2025 (as mentioned above), the Regional Sub-program 2023-2024 for Local Control Authorities for Weeds Program Guidelines will take precedence.

Additional information

Weed management on roads

Biosecurity Regulation 2017 - Weeds

Biosecurity - Weed Management Policy

Application for weeds extranet