New law gives council powers to enforce weed control
Posted on 7 September, 2021 by Asha
This article was written by local community member and volunteer Lee Mead. Lee has been an active community member and weed warrior for many years and her current roles include President of the Tarrangower Cactus Control Group, founding member of the Friends of Maldon Historic Reserve, and valued supporter of Connecting Country. Lee compiled this article with the aim of helping to raise awareness of a new Local Law in the Mount Alexander Shire.
The new laws will make it easier for the council to prosecute people who don’t control noxious weeds on their properties, as well as increasing the penalties for this infringement.
Thank you Lee and keep up the great work!
One of the positive highlights of 2020 was the endorsement of a new Local Law by the Mount Alexander Shire Council (MASC). The new Clause 19 has been created, which is specific to the control of declared noxious weeds. There is now significantly greater clarity and priority in our Shire’s Local Law given to the management of noxious weeds, which harm the environment and agriculture.
The new Clause 19, titled ‘Control of Noxious Weeds’, gives much greater definition, clarity and interpretation to the impacts and issues of weeds. It includes a definition of ‘noxious weeds’ and reference to the Victorian Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CaLP Act) and the Catchment and Land Protection Regulations 2012. In addition, the penalty for non-compliance has been doubled, from 5 to 10 penalty points.
The definition of noxious weeds (in the Local Law and the CaLP Act) refers to weeds that are a:
- State prohibited weed or
- Regionally prohibited weed or
- Regionally controlled weed or
- Restricted weed.
For more information on noxious weeds and their management – click here
These Local Law changes will raise the status and significance of noxious weed control in our Shire and reduce the ambiguity that the previous sub-clause created. The new clause will provide the Shire’s Bylaw Officers with a clearer definition of noxious weed management and hopefully result in increased enforcement action with non-compliant property owners. This new and specific ‘noxious weed’ clause will be more effective by making it easier for ratepayers to seek assistance from MASC Bylaw Officers to enforce weed control actions by absentee property owners, who are sometimes unaware of their legal weed control responsibilities.
We will be watching with a keen eye to see if any compliance infringements are issued under this local law over the coming year.