Weeds are a major problem for Landcare groups and the community in general. They invade natural areas, reduce agricultural production and threaten other species of plants and animals.
In 1998, Australian governments endorsed a framework to identify which weed species could be considered WONS within an agricultural, forestry and environmental context.
States and territories nominated 71 weed species to be assessed and ranked under this framework. Twenty WONS were identified through this process. The Australian Government and the state and territory governments then endorsed the final list in 1999.
Individual landowners and managers are ultimately responsible for managing WONS. State and territory governments are responsible for overall legislation and administration.
Information courtesy of Australian Government Weeds of National Significance
There are several levels of classification of weeds. Noxious Weeds are plants which, if left uncontrolled, will spread widely and cause serious economic loss to agriculture or have some detrimental effect upon the surrounding animals, environment or community in general.
Once a plant is declared noxious, the land occupier is required to control the weed according to it’s specific control category. Examples of Noxious Weeds in the Illawarra region are Bitou Bush and Prickly Pear. These noxious weeds are also prohibited from sale in the region. You can obtain more information about Noxious weeds by contacting the Illawarra District Noxious Weeds Authority,Chief Noxious Weeds Officer David Pomery on 4233 1129 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Weeds are plants which pose a threat to bushland and natural areas. It is recommended that they be eradicated to prevent degradation of remaining bushland. They include many introduced species that were once popular like Privet, Asparagus Fern and Honeysuckle.
Almost all of Australia’s native vegetation has been, or is likely to be, invaded by exotic species that could result in changes to the structure, species composition, fire frequency and abundance of native communities (Environmental Weeds of Australia).
Common Coastal Weeds of the Illawarra
This is just one of the many weed guide booklets available to community members.
Guide booklets are a great way for volunteers to become familiar with some of the most common weeds they are likely to see on their site.
With tips and advice on how to identify and control certain weeds commonly found around the Illawarra, this guide will help get you started with your weed identification skills.