MEDIA RELEASE - 2 May 2012
The Greens NSW spokesperson on agriculture Jeremy Buckingham questioned whether the O’Farrell Government is set to break another election promise to country NSW as the Noxious Weeds Bill comes before Parliament today.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals ‘Controlling Noxious Weeds’ policy document said:
“We will: Introduce mandatory weed management requirements in which departments, agencies and statutory authorities will be subject to the same rules and regulations as private landholders for efficient control of noxious weeds on lands managed by them.” (p.3)
“The government has made this election commitment, but has failed to put it into effect in the Noxious Weeds Amendment Bill 2012 currently before Parliament,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“Currently public authorities such as the RTA, Forests NSW or water catchment authorities are held to a lower standard than private landholders when it comes to noxious weed control requirements,” he said.
The Greens will move the following amendments to legislate the Coalition’s election commitment:
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
“The O’Farrell Government now has an opportunity to honour its election commitment to place the same expectations on public authorities to deal with weeds that currently applies to private land owners,” said Mr Buckingham.
According to the Local Government & Shires Association, weeds cost NSW over $1.2 billion in lost production and control costs every year.
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916