Our responsibilities

What we do

Rous County Council (RCC) works with a wide range of stakeholders to combat the spread of noxious weeds in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. The council is the Local Control Authority responsible for administering the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 in the region. RCC provides a cost-effective and consistent mechanism for control and management of noxious weeds within the county. The operational footprint includes all of Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore City, Richmond Valley and Kyogle shires. It covers about 10,290 square kilometres, adjoining the Queensland border to the north, Tenterfield Shire to the west and the Clarence Valley local government area to the south.

Council’s approach to weed management has strong links with the Australian Weeds Strategy, the NSW Biodiversity Strategy, NSW Invasive Species Strategy and the NSW Weed Action Program.

Council's weed management platform is based on the achievement of the four goals outlined below:

  1. Prevent the establishment of new weed species in our region – Exclude.
  2. Eliminate or prevent the spread of new weed species in our region – Eradicate or contain.
  3. Reduce the impacts of widespread invasive weed species – Effectively manage.
  4. Ensure community, industry and government stakeholders have the ability and long-term commitment to manage invasive weed species – Build capacity.

Our approach to weed management reflects the following key themes:

  • Identification and management of high risk weed species and the pathways they use to spread into and within our region.
  • Formulation of new weed detection systems to improve our capacity to find new weeds early.
  • Ensuring we have the resources and procedures in place to undertake rapid strategic control measures against new weed incursions.
  • Continual analysis of our weed management programs to ensure we are directing resources to where benefits will be the greatest.
  • Increasing the community commitment and involvement in proactive weed management approaches.

Council’s Integrated Planning and Reporting framework provides for the coordinated and cooperative management of noxious weeds across our county.

Principal activities and services of Council are outlined below.

Regulatory

  • Inspection of land within the county to ensure, so far as practicable, that owners and occupiers of land (other than public authorities or other local control authorities) carry out their legislative noxious weed control obligations.
  • Undertaking compliance action to ensure landowners and managers meet their legislative noxious weed control obligations.
  • Production of section 64 certificates under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993, which provide information for prospective land purchasers about any current weed control notices, expenses and charges on land.

 Weed management on public lands

  • Development of weed management plans, which encompasses 12,438 kilometres of roadsides across the county.
  • Mapping the density and distribution of declared noxious weeds on roadsides.
  • Carrying out control works against declared noxious weeds on the public road network throughout the county area.

Strategic control of high priority, high risk weed species

  • Mapping of all declared noxious weeds on private and public lands.
  • Implementing inspections on private and State lands for declared weed species.
  • Development and implementation of collaborative control activities for high priority declared weed species in partnership with land owners and managers.
  • Identification of species exhibiting weedy potential and implementing strategies for their timely control and future management.
  • Review and prioritisation of weed-management programs to ensure resources are directed to where benefits will be the greatest.

Education, extension and community engagement

  • Developing programs that aim to increase the communities’ acceptance of and willingness to be involved in effective weed-management programs.
  • Provision of advice on best practice control methods, weed seed spread prevention and other relevant management topics.
  • Provision of technical support and literature to land owners, community and industry groups.
  • Attendance at shows and field days across the region to enhance weed management awareness.

Our responsibilities

As a local control authority, under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993RCC has the following noxious weed control functions in relation to the Far North Coast.

  1. Responsibility for the control of noxious weeds by occupiers of land (other than public authorities or local control authorities).
  2. Control of noxious weeds on land owned or occupied by the local control authority and on certain roads and watercourses, rivers or inland waters as provided by the Act.
  3. To ensure, so far as practicable, that owners and occupiers of land (other than public authorities or other local control authorities) carry out obligations to control noxious weeds imposed under this Act.
  4. To develop, implement, coordinate and review noxious weed control policies and noxious weed control programs.
  5. Inspection of land within the local area in connection with its noxious weed control functions.
  6. To report, at the request of the Minister, on the carrying out of its functions under the Act.
  7. To cooperate with local control authorities of adjoining areas to control noxious weeds, where appropriate.
  8. Any other functions that are conferred or imposed on the local control authority by or under the Act.

Roadside weed management: RCC is responsible for the control of noxious weeds on roadsides and other lands under its control.

Community information: RCC is responsible for informing the community about noxious weeds and occupiers’ responsibilities to control them.

Declaration: RCC is responsible for monitoring changing plant status in the environment and determining whether declaration is the best approach to managing those changes.
The Minister for Agriculture is responsible for declaring weeds. RCC’s role is to recommend declarations, where appropriate, to the Minister through the Regional Weeds Committee and the State Weeds Committee.

Services

RCC offers a range of services to land holders.

These include:

  • Certificates: Under section 64 of the Noxious Weeds Act 1993, RCC provides certificates to intending property purchasers, on payment of a fee, stating whether there are outstanding fees, charges or notices on the property. Please complete and submit the property enquiry form.
  • Advice: Council staff provide best practice management information to the public covering all facets of noxious weed control. This may be done during property inspections, by phone, fax, email, or at field days and other activities involving Council staff.
  • Weed identification: Weed samples can be dropped into the RCC office, at 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore, for positive identification. If RCC cannot positively identify the sample it will be sent to the herbarium for identification.
  • Weed information: Council has a large array of weed information in the form of posters, brochures and best practice manuals available to the public.
  • Education, extension and community engagement: Council delivers education, extension and community engagement through regular field days, information stalls, weed identification and information workshops, weed expos, school talks, advertising, media stories, a website and more.