Invasive Plants

What are weeds

The broad definition of a weed is a plant growing outside its natural environment that has some sort of adverse impact, whether that be on the economy, the community or the environment.

By finding out about weeds, how to identify them, report them, control them and alternatives to plant, you can help to prevent the spread of invasive weeds in the Clarence Valley.

Weed Identification

Our Natural Resource Management (NRM) weeds team can help you find out about a specific plant that you might be unsure of - and whether it's a weed:

  1. Take photos of the plant that capture:

    -the whole plant
    -close-ups of features of the plant, such as- leaves, flowers, and any fruit or seed capsules present.

  2. Upload the photos and any additional information you can provide using council’s Report It function

You can also use the following links and publications to help identify weeds by their characteristics or images

  1. WeedWise 
  2. Weeds of the North Coast of NSW - A guide to identification and control


Reporting of Priority Weeds

A "priority weed" is a plant that has been assessed to cause severe economic loss to agriculture and significantly impact our natural and recreational environments.

Priority weeds have been determined at State, Regional and Local levels.

There may be a legal requirement to control and/or to prevent the spread of these weeds and for some species, a legal requirement to report them.

Weeds that are identified as high priority for our region and the Clarence Valley Local Government Area can be found on the DPI Weedwise page here and selecting Clarence Valley in the 'view priority weeds by region' section and clicking 'Go'.

You can report high priority weeds by phoning our customer service hotline on 02 6643 0200,  or via the report it function.

Inspection Program

Clarence Valley Council undertakes routine inspections of all land (public & private) throughout the region to identify priority weed infestations.

Following an inspection, a report will be issued with a list of any priority weeds if they were found.

We also provide you information about how to control weeds where possible.

If you fail to comply to control these weeds as required, management may be enforced. This may include penalties and additional fees and charges.

Controlling Weeds- Our role

Our main role is to:

  • Manage weeds under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015
  • Support the community to prevent the establishment of new weeds
  • Work with landholders to control weeds based on the level of risk to the broader community

Our focus is to prevent new and emerging or high priority weeds from establishing and spreading in our landscape. These weeds are identified in the North Coast Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan and are classed as Prevention, Eradication or Containment weed species.

Weeds that have already established (referred to as Asset Protection weed species), generally pose a lower biosecurity risk. These species are widespread and unlikely to be eradicated or contained within the broader regional context. Whilst these weeds are not our focus, they are managed under a number of vegetation control programs where our resources allow.

Vegetation disputes between neighbours

Disputes between neighbours over the management of plants and non-priority weeds should be directed towards your neighbour in the first instance. We suggest taking the following steps:

  1. If possible, discuss the matter with your neighbour. They may not have realised their vegetation is causing a problem, and this may help maintain good neighbourly relations. Try to reach an agreement with them about what should be done.

  2. Give your neighbour the opportunity to rectify the problem before taking further action.

  3. Notify your neighbour in writing of the damage or nuisance being caused by the vegetation. If no agreement can be reached, contact the Community Justice Centres (CJC) on 1800 990 777. The CJC is a free, government-funded service designed to help resolve disputes. Professionally trained mediators provide a safe, independent forum to sit down with the parties and attempt to resolve matters quickly.

  4. If mediation fails and the matter involves trees, hedges, bamboo or vines that might cause damage or injury then the NSW Land and Environment Court has the power to settle such disputes under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006. Lodging an application does not require legal representation and the fee is minimal. The applicant completes the form and pays the fee, attaching any supporting documentation (including correspondence that demonstrates to the Court your attempts to resolve your concerns with your neighbour). When the Court receives the application, the Court Commissioner will inspect the property and make a judgement.