Australian Weeds Committee



Origin

Established Standing Committee on Agriculture (SCA) 76/24 (July 1966) and endorsed as a subcommittee of the Plant Production Committee SCA 97/6 (February 1975). Continuation as a subcommittee of Sustainable Land and Water Resource Management Committee (SLWRMC) confirmed at SCARM 9 (February 1997). SCARM restructured the AWC in 2000 by raising the level of operation of the Committee in order to gain improved policy development and commitment to action on the part of member states. In September 2002, following the restructuring of the Ministerial Councils, Committee members became responsible for all weeds in their jurisdiction (primary industry, forestry and environmental). The Committee is now responsible to the National Biosecurity Committee.

The first meeting of the reformed Committee was held in August 2000.

Method of Operation

The Australian Weeds Committee meets once or twice face to face and via teleconferencing, with other issues resolved out of session. The Committee may establish specific purpose working groups. The cost of meetings (other than fares and accommodation costs of delegates) is met by the Secretariat. The Committee is developing a policy for industry liaison and observers in order to ensure appropriate consultation but recognising that the Committee needs to be kept to a manageable size.

Major Policy Areas

  • Biological control of weeds
  • Plant incursions
  • Weed Spread
  • Legislation to support weed management
  • Weed Management

Terms of Reference for the Australian Weeds Committee

Vision: (from the National Weeds Strategy)

Australia’s economic, environmental and social assets are secure from the impact of weeds.

Purpose:

To provide an inter-Governmental mechanism for identification and resolution of weed issues at a National level for Australia on behalf of the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC).

Terms of Reference

Ensure an integrated and effective national approach to the prevention and management of weed problems by reporting to and advising NBC on the following matters:

  1. Provide policy advice and report as directed or at the discretion of the Committee to NRMSC on national weed issues.
  2. Support the implementation of the Australian Weeds Strategy by facilitating and coordinating consistent national action on weed tasks.
  3. Encourage the incorporation of weed management as an integral component of natural resource management at national, state and regional levels.
  4. Facilitate the delivery of weed initiatives within the national biosecurity framework.
  5. Implement a communications strategy, for increasing the profile of weeds throughout the community, government and key stakeholders.
  6. Encourage monitoring and evaluation of that national weed management effort.

Modus Operandi

  • Develop a three-year strategic plan.
  • Report annually to NRMSC, through NBC with a copy to Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC).
  • Liaise with other national committees and external stakeholders.
  • Work within the AusBIOSEC framework.
  • Set up networks for emergency planning / action for weed incursions.
  • Meet at least once annually and use teleconferences and working groups between sessions to progress business.
  • Liaise with the National Weeds Management Facilitator for coordinating national action.
  • Utilise an outsourced Secretariat to ensure the efficient and timely operation of the Committee.

Chair

The Chair rotates every two to three years and is a senior biosecurity officer from the State and Territories who the members nominate and endorse.

Members

Commonwealth(2 members), all States and Territories(8 members)

Observers

CSIRO, Plant Health Australia, New Zealand


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