MEDIA RELEASE – 3 April 2012
The Greens NSW spokesperson on rural land Jeremy Buckingham will move an amendment to the Noxious Weeds Amendment Bill 2012, to require more action from public authorities to deal with weeds and hold public authorities to the same expectations as private landholders.
The two amendments would:
1) Remove the exemption for public authorities that they comply with weed control orders only “to the extent necessary to prevent weeds from spreading to adjoining land”.
2) Require government agencies to report annually on weed control measures.
“This amendment ensures that state government agencies are responsible and liable for properly dealing with weed issues on the extensive lands they control,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“The government should not have a system that applies a greater burden on private land holders, but dodges its own responsibility to deal with weed infestations on adjoining public land.
“It can be very frustrating for farmers and private land holders to do the right thing and deal properly with weeds at considerable cost, only to have weeds spread back onto their land from lands under public control.
“If the O’Farrell Government is serious about dealing with noxious weeds in NSW, it should remove this exemption for government agencies such as the RTA, National Parks, Forests NSW, Crown Lands and others, and require annual reporting of weed control measures.
According to the Local Government & Shires Association, weeds cost NSW over $1.2 billion in lost production and control costs every year.
“If the Government was serious about minimising future cost impacts of weed management in NSW it would be working towards implementing a ‘white’ list or permitted list approach like they have at the Commonwealth level and in Western Australia.
“The Greens are disappointed the Government has not implemented its own recommendations from the statutory review into the noxious weeds act to start community consultation on a permitted list system. That should start now”, Mr Buckingham said.
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916