New England Weed Authority set to inspect Walcha

New England Weeds Authority Walcha officer Josh Biddle

New England Weeds Authority Walcha officer Josh Biddle

The New England Weeds Authority (NEWA) Northern Tablelands annual operations in controlling weeds means it will be inspecting properties in Walcha soon.

“The new Biosecurity Act 2015 will replace the old Noxious Weed Act from July 1,” said NEWA officer Russel Smith.

“A key concept behind this new legislation is that everyone has a general biosecurity duty. This requires that anyone dealing with a biosecurity risk, whether it be weeds, pests or diseases, must ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised.”

Mr Smith explained that, from a weed perspective, this means landholders and managers must manage weeds on their land to reduce or prevent them impacting surrounding land.

“Property inspections allow us to monitor all land for weed growth and map the presence of weeds throughout the New England,” Mr Smith said.

“This will allow for more targeted and informed weed management and control.”

Mr Smith said significant effort went into monitoring the ongoing management of existing weeds in the area, including serrated tussock, nodding thistle and a number of grass weeds.

“A key part of our role, however, is to be on the lookout for new and emerging weeds in the region,” he said.

“These may be introduced through bringing in feed, livestock and equipment from outside the area. Inspectors are also on the lookout for aquatic weeds which adversely impact the natural values of our waterways and have a significant impact on both agriculture and domestic water supplies.”

If you are concerned, Mr Smith said NEWA staff were happy to provide advice on managing weed infestations on your property.

“We also encourage landholders to accompany our inspectors whilst they inspect the property. If you would like to discuss impending inspections, please contact Josh Biddle on on 6770 3602.”

For help with weed identification and management, call into the NEWA office in Armidale or go online to  www.newa.com.au.