Weeds are everybody’s responsibility. We can all work together to protect our World Heritage Area and the unique bushland, swamps and waterways of the Blue Mountains.

Weeds are plants that do not occur naturally in the bush. They compete with native plants and often dominate or replace them. They degrade and destroy the habitat of our native animals.

Council’s obligation

Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 Blue Mountains City Council as the Local Control Authority has a legal obligation to manage the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed to human health, the economy, community and environment by Priority Weeds.

Council meets these obligations through programs to;

  • Control Priority Weeds on Council managed land
  • Inspect private lands to ensure owners of land carry out their obligations

The Urban Weeds Team takes a co-ordinated sub catchment and broader landscape approach working with residents, community groups and other agencies.

Your obligation

Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, all land owners or land managers have a ‘General Biosecurity Duty’ to prevent, eliminate or minimise the Biosecurity Risk posed or likely to be posed by Priority Weeds.

What is a Priority Weed?

Priority Weeds or Biosecurity Matter can impact on human health, the economy, the liveability of our city and the environment. Impacts can include allergies and other health issues, costs of control, loss of tourism value, degradation of natural landscapes, parks and recreation facilities, reduction of useful agricultural land and loss of primary production, loss of biodiversity and water quality.

The Greater Sydney Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017-2022 which has been developed by the Greater Sydney Local Land Services outlines:

  • State Priority Weeds
  • Regional Priority Weeds
  • Local Priority Weeds.

Our current activities

Council’s Urban Weeds Team is currently treating the following weeds throughout the mountains.


High/Low Volume Spraying

Target Species Chemical
Lantana Metsulfuron methyl
Privet sp. (small) Metsulfuron methyl
Crofton Weed Glyphosate 360g/L
Pampas Grass Glyphosate 360g/L
Morning Glory Glyphosate 360g/L
Bamboo Glyphosate 520g/L


Cut and Paint

Target Species Chemical
Gorse Glyphosate 360g/L
Boneseed Glyphosate 360g/L
Privet Glyphosate 360g/L
Lantana Glyphosate 360g/L
Bamboo Glyphosate 360g/L
Pampas Grass Glyphosate 360g/L
Cape Broom Glyphosate 360g/L
Scotch Broom Glyphosate 360g/L
Cotoneaster Glyphosate 360g/L
Holly Glyphosate 360g/L
African Olive Glyphosate 360g/L


Targeted Opportunistically

Target Species Chemical
Portuguese Heath Metsulfuron methyl
Himalayan Honeysuckle Metsulfuron methyl
Other bird distributed weeds Glyphosate 360g/L

Metsulfuron methyl

In addition to the above, other small scale works will occur. Should you have enquiries regarding this work, please contact Council on 4780 5343.

Areas of Focus

Council's Urban Weeds Team covers approx. 150 sites scattered throughout the mountains which are the main focus of these works.
Target areas are determined by factors such as:

  • The presence of Endangered Ecological Communities 
  • Negative impacts that weed control may have on an area 
  • Bushcare or Landcare group working in the area 
  • Other teams within Council carrying out environmental focused programs
  • Drainage systems 

Once an area has been selected as a target area, the area is divided into zones. Eventually every property in each zone is inspected and all public lands are mapped for noxious weeds. This information is then added to our Public Lands Program. Weeds will then be treated during the growing season prior to seeding or as resources allow.

Are you Sensitive to Chemicals?

Some people are sensitive to certain chemicals. Council is continually updating its Chemical Sensitive Register. This is a list of residents who wish to be notified prior to Council spraying in the proximity of their property. Adequate notice and time frames will be given to allow time for people to make arrangements whilst spraying is in progress. 

If you wish to be included on Council's Chemical Sensitive Register please write to: Mr Dave Whiteman, Bushland Operations Team Leader, Blue Mountains City Council, Locked Bag 1005, KATOOMBA NSW 2780.

Council adheres to best practice guidelines in its use of chemicals, which includes the use of herbicides with the least toxic constituents that are effective and economical. Council also endeavours to use the least amount of herbicides necessary to be effective. All Council's weed control staff are trained in Conservation and Land Management and safe use and storage of Chemicals. 

Weed notification

If you have been asked to control Priority Weeds on your property under the Biosecurity Act 2015, you will have received two letters from Council:

  1. ‘Notice of Entry’ is a notification that an authorised officer will be entering your property (exercising the power of entry under Section 98 of the Biosecurity Act 2015), to inspect for the presence of Priority Weeds. This letter will give a range of dates that the Council Officer will enter your land, but also gives you an opportunity to arrange a time to meet the Officer on-site to answer questions you may have.
  2. ‘Presence of Priority Weeds’ is a notification that Priority Weeds have been identified on your property and informs you which weeds are present. A Priority Weeds Information Booklet will be included with this letter providing a variety of information including; contractors, herbicide use and weed control techniques. There will also be a range of dates that a Council Officer will visit the property to check for voluntary compliance prior to a ‘Formal Biosecurity Direction’ being issued.

FAQs Biosecurity Act 2015

What is Biosecurity?

Biosecurity refers to the protection of native plant communities; reducing the risk to human health; and the risk to agricultural production, from invasive weeds.

What is an invasive weed?

Invasive weeds are plants that are spread by birds, wind and storm water. Invasive weeds impact upon neighbouring properties and surrounding bushland by excluding and competing with native plant growth and regeneration.

What is changing?

On 1 July 2017 the NSW Government replaced the Noxious Weeds Act 1993, and 13 other Acts, with a single Biosecurity Act 2015. The new Biosecurity Act 2015 combines 14 different pieces of legislation, including the Noxious Weeds Act, into a single Act of law.  Under the Noxious Weeds Act all landowners have a responsibility to control noxious weeds on their property. Under the Biosecurity Act the same responsibility will apply and will be known as a General Biosecurity Duty.

What does the new Biosecurity Act mean for me?

Landowners have a responsibility to control noxious weeds on their property under the Biosecurity Act as they did under the old Noxious Weeds Act. If you notice invasive weeds coming up on your property, you will need to control them as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading to other properties or our native bushland. Remember: Biosecurity Begins in your Backyard. The only difference residents will see is a change in the terminology used, for example, the term Noxious Weed will be replaced with Invasive Weeds or Biosecurity Matter, and that weed notices/orders will be issued as Biosecurity Directions under the Biosecurity Act.

Will the Biosecurity Act change the way Council manages weeds on private property?

No. Council’s Urban Weeds Program and the process for inspecting private properties for invasive weeds will continue unchanged. Council will also maintain its current approach to education and enforcement relating to invasive weeds. Council will maintain the current process for issuing Weed Control Notices. The main differences will be the terminology used and that Orders will be issued under the Biosecurity Act. They will be known as Biosecurity Directions.

Further information

 Go to the Department of Primary Industries website for more information on the Biosecurity Act

Download below the Priority Weeds Information Book (13.9MB pdf) below