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More time to have your say on weed management in the Hunter

Local Land Services is extending the public consultation period for its draft weeds management plans until 29 March.

Interested individuals and organisations have been providing their input on the draft Hunter Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017-2022, which has been on public exhibition since 8 February.

Hunter Local Land Services General Manager, Brett Miners, said it’s encouraging to see members of the community taking the opportunity to have their say on the future of weed management in our region.

“Weeds are an ongoing issue for the community throughout our region from the country to the coast. How we manage weeds in the Hunter is an issue that is relevant to everyone, including public and private land managers, ratepayers and non-ratepayers. The impact of weeds on Australian Agriculture, are estimated to be $4.3 billion annually.”

The plan will guide resource allocation and investment in the region over the next five years, as part of a new approach to weed management across the region. It outlines strategies and actions to achieve improved weed management and lists the priority weeds for the region. It has been developed collaboratively with Hunter Local Land Services and the Hunter Regional Weeds Committee, which includes representatives from major stakeholder groups.

Weeds are to be managed under the new Biosecurity Act 2015, which adopts the concept of a general biosecurity duty. It means that anyone who is aware of a potential risk should take all reasonable and practical measures to minimise or eliminate that risk. The plan is a direct response to this legislative reform, which includes repealing the Noxious Weeds Act 1993.

The primary outcome of the weed reform process will be the integration of weed management efforts across the state. For the first time in NSW, there will be a set of agreed priorities and actions which apply across both public and private land. Increased collaboration in the management of weeds will improve biosecurity outcomes and increase agricultural productivity.

“We’ve extended the consultation period because we want the widest range of feedback possible,” Mr Miners said.

“We are keen to hear from all members of the public, whether they are landholders or not, about the strategies, actions and priority weeds proposed in the plan,” Mr Miners said.

Submissions can be made online. Copies of the plan are available on the Local Land Services Open website or from any Hunter Local Land Services office.

Media contact:  Phoebe Trongchittham – 0414 744 594