Victoria

Weed legislation contact

Dr Nigel Ainsworth
Principal Policy Officer - Invasive Plants
Biosecurity Victoria
Department of Environment and Primary Industries
GPO BOX 4440
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

Ph (03) 9658 4989

E-mail: nigel.ainsworth@dpi.vic.gov.au.


Relevant legislation

The principal legislation is the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CaLP Act). The CaLP Act is administered by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) who employ Pest Management Officers through the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DPI) to enforce provisions of the CaLP Act. Noxious weeds are a component of the CaLP Act, which establishes a framework for the integrated management and protection of catchments through community participation in the management of land and water resources.

There is also provision under the Local Government Act 1989 for councils to enact local by-laws targeting specific weeds.


The extracts below highlight some of the key provisions relating to noxious weeds in Victoria. The complete current version of the Act can be found at new.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/weeds/.


Extracts

20 General duties of land owners

  1. In relation to his or her land a land owner must take all reasonable steps to—
    1. eradicate regionally prohibited weeds; and
    2. prevent the growth and spread of regionally controlled weeds.
  2. A land owner must take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of regionally controlled weeds and established pest animals on a roadside that adjoins the land owner's land.
  3. Subsection (2) does not apply to a roadside which is—
    1. a freeway or an arterial road within the meaning of the Road Management Act 2004; or
    2. Crown land held under a lease or licence by a person other than the land owner; or
    3. land exempted from that subsection by a special area plan; or
    4. Crown land in a national park or park within the meaning of the National Parks Act 1975 or in a protected forest within the meaning of the Forests Act 1958; or
    5. Crown land managed by a public authority other than the Secretary, or a Minister other than the Minister; or
    6. Crown land reserved under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 for a purpose other than a road.

58 Classification of pests—general

  1. On the Minister's recommendation the Governor in Council, by Order published in the Government Gazette, may declare—
    1. a plant to be a state prohibited weed, regionally prohibited weed, regionally controlled weed or restricted weed

71 Spread of noxious weeds

  1. A person must not—
    1. without a permit from the Secretary—
      1. buy or offer to buy in Victoria; or
      2. sell or offer to sell in Victoria; or
      3. possess for the purposes of sale in Victoria; or
        1. display in Victoria; or
        2. plant or propagate in Victoria; or
      4. wilfully bring or cause to be brought into Victoria; or
      5. transport within Victoria—
      the following—
      1. a noxious weed; or
      2. the seeds of a noxious weed whether or not packed or mixed with the seeds of any other plants; or
      3. any part of a noxious weed that is capable of growing whether or not packed or mixed with the parts of any other plants; or
    2. without a permit from the Secretary, remove or cause to be removed or sell soil, sand, gravel or stone which contains or is likely to contain any part of a noxious weed, or which comes from land on which noxious weeds grow; or
    3. without a permit from the Secretary, remove or cause to be removed or sell fodder or grain which contains the seeds or any other part of a noxious weed that is capable of growing; or
    4. without a permit from the Secretary, sell or hire, or offer for hire, a substance or machinery that is used or intended to be used in primary production and which contains the seeds or any other part of a noxious weed that is capable of growing; or
    5. without a permit from the Secretary, sell an animal which is carrying seeds of a noxious weed; or
    6. without a permit from the Secretary, deposit on land—
      1. a noxious weed; or
      2. the seeds of a noxious weed that are apparently capable of germinating.
  2. Subsection (1)(f) does not apply to the sale of farm animals direct to a meat processing facility within the meaning of the Meat Industry Act 1993.

Key points are that the Act:

  • regulates management of noxious weeds;
  • prohibits the movement and sale of noxious weeds of all categories anywhere in the state;
  • covers weed seeds occurring as contaminants in seed lots or other plant products.
  • the Minister may only recommend for declaration, a plant that is, or has or may have the potential to become, a serious threat to primary production, Crown land, the environment or community health in Victoria or in another State or a Territory of the Commonwealth.
There are four categories of noxious weeds defined under the CaLP Act:
  • State Prohibited Weeds
    These weeds either do not occur in Victoria, but pose a significant threat if they invade, or are present, pose a serious threat and can reasonably be expected to be eradicated. If present, infestations of a State Prohibited Weed are relatively small. They are to be eradicated if possible from Victoria or excluded from the State. The Victorian Government is responsible for their eradication, but under Section 70(1) of the CaLP Act it may direct land owners to prevent their growth and spread.
  • Regionally Prohibited Weeds
    Regionally Prohibited weeds are not widely distributed in a Region but are capable of spreading further. It is reasonable to expect that they can be eradicated from a Region and they must be managed with that goal. Land owners, including public authorities responsible for Crown land management, must take all reasonable steps to eradicate Regionally Prohibited weeds on their land.
  • Regionally Controlled Weeds
    These weeds are usually widespread and are considered important in a particular Region. To prevent their spread, continuing control measures are required. Land owners have the responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the growth and spread of Regionally Controlled weeds on their land.
  • Restricted Weeds
    This category includes plants that pose an unacceptable risk of spreading in this State or to other parts of Australia if they were to be sold or traded in Victoria, and are a serious threat to another State or Territory of Australia. Trade in these weeds and their propagules, either as plants, seeds or contaminants in other materials is prohibited.

In addition, Victoria has also declared certain plants as Noxious Aquatic Species under the Fisheries Act 1995. These plants pose a serious threat to a fishery, the aquatic environment or human health. It is an offence to bring into Victoria or possess, sell, transport or release them.

There are ten Catchment Management Authorities in Victoria. These Catchment Management Authorities are responsible for the management and protection of land and water resources within each catchment. With the Victorian Catchment Management Council, they advise the Minister on which weeds to proclaim and within which category.

The strategic approach to the management of the risks imposed by weeds in Victoria is outlined in the Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework and applied in Regional Invasive Plant and Animal Strategies.

Further information can be found on the DPI website (www.dpi.vic.gov.au/weeds). Under this section is a Landcare Note on the currently declared noxious weeds that can be downloaded for further information.

Key

Category
S State Prohibited Weeds. These are weeds that are, or have or may have the potential to become, a serious threat to primary production, Crown land, the environment or community health in Victoria or in another State or a Territory of the Commonwealth. They do not occur in Victoria or it is reasonable to expect that they can be eradicated from the State.
P Regionally Prohibited Weeds. These are weeds that are, or have or may have the potential to become, a serious threat to primary production, Crown land, the environment community health in Victoria or in another State or a Territory of the Commonwealth. They are not widely distributed throughout the region, are capable of spreading further and it is reasonable to expect that they can be eradicated from the region.
C Regionally Controlled Weeds. These are weeds that are, or have or may have the potential to become, a serious threat to primary production, Crown land, the environment or community health in Victoria or in another State or a Territory of the Commonwealth. They occur in the region, are capable of spreading further and continuing control measures are required to prevent their spread.
F Statewide Noxious Aquatic Species. Plants that pose a serious threat to a fishery, the aquatic environment or human health. Declared under the Fisheries Act 1995, it is an offence to bring these plants into Victoria or possess, sell transport or release them.
R Restricted Weeds. These are weeds that are, or have or may have the potential to become, a serious threat to primary production, Crown land, the environment or community health in Victoria or in another State or a Territory of the Commonwealth. They pose an unacceptable risk of spread if they were sold or traded.
Regional Declaration
Numbers Numbers following categories refer to the number of regions in which the weed is declared.
Notes
(a) All Salix spp. except for the permitted species, S. alba var. caerulea, S. alba var. matsudana, S. babylonica (weeping willow), S. x calodendron (pussy willow), S. caprea 'Pendula', S. matsudana 'Aurea', 'Tortuosa', S.myrsinifolia and S. x reichardtii (pussy willow).