Weed control

Overview

The identification of weed species is critical when selecting the best weed control methods for successful long-term eradication and a return to a healthy and productive natural environment. Macedon Ranges, Mount Alexander and Mitchell Shire Councils joined forces to produce a weeds of Central Victoria guide to assist in identifying and controlling weeds.

Your responsibilities for weed control

Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, as a private landowner you have a legal responsibility to control weeds on your property. You must take reasonable steps to remove regionally prohibited weeds and to prevent the growth and spread of regionally controlled weeds on any land owned by you. For a list of Victoria's declared noxious weeds, visit declared noxious weeds.

Visit weed detection on small farms(PDF, 2MB) for a guide on best practice of weed detection and control methods appropriate to small farm owners.

Transportation of weeds

It is illegal to transport noxious weed material without first taking precautions to ensure the vehicle and equipment is free from noxious weed seed. Ensure that you contact the Council’s transfer stations prior to arriving if you are planning to dispose of noxious weeds, as some green waste may not be accepted. Depending on fire and other restrictions, you may be permitted to burn off noxious weeds on your property.

Weeds on neighbouring properties

Have a friendly chat with your neighbour about how you can work together to control weeds. If neighbourly negotiation is not possible, the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources has the authority to enforce weed control legislation. Call 136 186 for advice.

Please note, local government has no enforcement powers with respect to noxious weed control on private property.

Weeds on roadsides

Council has an annual weed control program which aims to enhance the biodiversity values of the shire's roadsides and manage fire risk, which in turn reduces the spread of noxious weeds.

Residents are advised not to undertake weed control on roadsides unless a permit for environmental works is approved.

To report a weed problem on your roadside, call our Environment team on (03) 5422 0333.

Help and advice

Agriculture Victoria provides a range of online resources on weed management. For enquiries call 13 61 86.

Landcare Australia is a community-based initiative that aims to improve biodiversity and regenerate farmland by undertaking weed removal and control projects on public and private land. Your local Landcare or Friends group may be able to assist you with practical weed control measures and advice.

Organic weed control

If you would like to avoid the use of chemicals on your land, consider a 'whole farm' or integrated approach to weed management.

This means understanding what, why and how particular weeds tend to grow on your property, and adopting organic techniques to prevent their spread, such as:

  • quarantining machinery, livestock, people or soil
  • vehicle and machinery hygiene
  • crop rotation and slashing
  • appropriate farm design, such as choice and layout of irrigation systems
  • ongoing monitoring.

If you do choose to introduce some chemical treatments into your weed management plan, consider methods that will have the least negative impacts, and ensure the treatment is timed to prevent further seed development.

Agriculture Victoria provides further information on various weed control methods. Your local Landcare or Friends group may also be able to assist you with practical weed control measures and advice.

Chemical weed control

If you plan to use herbicides or agricultural chemicals on your property to control weeds, you must take steps to minimise any potential negative effects on human health and the environment. You also have a legal responsibility to obtain relevant qualifications or permits, and to keep records of the chemicals that you use. 

A well-managed weed control program should also result in a reduction in herbicide use over time and the progressive introduction of organic weed management methods. 

Selecting a herbicide 

The Public Chemical Registration Information System database can help you decide which chemical is suitable for your specific agricultural needs. It contains details of agricultural and veterinary chemical products that are registered for use in Australia including the product name, registering company, active ingredients and product category for each chemical.
 
When selecting a herbicide, consider:
  • whether you wish to treat all or selected vegetation
  • the action of the chemical on the plant
  • the length of time the chemical will remain active in soil or water.
These factors will help you choose the right type of chemical for your project, and will influence the method of application. Before you start your chemical weed control program, refer to Agriculture Victoria's guide to agricultural chemicals in Victoria. 
 

Chemical user certificates

If you are a user of restricted use chemicals, you must hold a valid Agricultural Chemical Users Permit (ACUP) or work under the direct supervision of an ACUP holder. An ACUP is also required to purchase agricultural chemical products classified as restricted supply chemicals by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website or call 136 186 for more information. 

Keeping chemical usage records

By law, a person who uses an agricultural or veterinary chemical product must ensure that their chemical use is recorded.

Agriculture Victoria provides information on chemical use chemical use record keeping requirements, and the templates that you should use.

Risk of poisoning native wildlife

You should avoid spraying herbicide when plants have fruit or seed, as there is a potential to poison native birds such as finches.