What is a Weed?

Weeds are plants that grow where they are not wanted. Nevertheless, what is a weed in one situation may be a valued plant under different circumstances.

Seventy-seven plants have been officially declared as weeds under the Weed Management Act 1999. These plants can cause, or have already caused:

  • reduced farm production
  • degradation of the State's natural or physical resources
  • degradation of ecological processes, or
  • reduction in the genetic diversity of native plants.

Once plants are declared weeds under the Act, there are restrictions on their trade, sale, import, movement and disposal.

Under Section 15 of the Act, a Weed Management Plan must be drawn up for each plant within 12 months of it being declared a weed. These Plans are produced by the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (DPIWE), and go through a public consultation phase before becoming statutory plans under the Act.

The Weed Management Plans set out the restrictions and approaches for weed reduction or eradication. They apply equally to public and private landholders.