Weed management-Case studies report

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Weed management-Case studies report

Case Studies Report

Author: Naree Atkinson, Municipal Association of Victoria

    Date: September 2006

    Copyright ? Municipal Association of Victoria 2006

    Printed on Envirocare Recycled 100gsm. Manufactured from 65% post-consumer, 35% pre-consumer waste

    Across Victoria local government undertakes a range of Such an outcome would better place the sector to important functions in weed management, extending undertake weed management in line with overarching beyond that of public land manager to community strategies, and assist with the development of effective leader and educator, priority setter, program management programs and policies into the future. coordinator and advocate.

    On behalf of the MAV I would like to thank our The Local Government and Weed Management Case membership for their active participation in this study. Studies Report revises and records changes in local Without the involvement of councils it would not be government circumstances and approaches to weed possible to present such a detailed account of the level management over the past three years. During this time, of local government activity and innovative programs in recognition of the importance of weed management as weed management across the state.

    an activity has grown among local government, with

    more councils now developing strategies and The MAV considers this report an important reference undertaking programs to improve environmental for discussion among stakeholders and for development outcomes for their communities. of further opportunities for improved weed management

    to benefit all Victorians. By raising the profile of the

    important work being undertaken by Victorian local While active participation by the sector is increasing, it

    must also be noted that there are varying levels of government, this report can be the catalyst to build awareness and capacity within local government to innovative partnerships between councils and other land undertake weed management activities. This report managers.

    provides an overview of the current barriers to local

    government involvement in weed management across

    the state and proposes a number of recommendations

    to overcome these. In particular, capacity and resource

    limitations, confusion over roles and responsibilities and

    the need for information sharing between municipalities,

    state agencies, the community and industry have been

    identified as challenges requiring action.

The report contains 19 case studies to share knowledge

    and expertise within the sector, by demonstrating

    innovation and best practice weed management

    activities undertaken by Victorian councils. It is hoped

    that the valuable information in this report will

    encourage information sharing not only between

    councils but with other land managers across the state.

     Rob Spence



    The MAV would like to thank the environment management staff at the 19 councils who took the time to participate in the case studies interviews.

Baw Baw Shire Council Carolyn Ferguson

    Bayside City Council Michael Coleman, Kevin Alexander

    Campaspe Shire Council Sally Dickinson

    Central Goldfields Shire Pam Manning, Bruce Horkings

    East Gippsland Shire Council Ian Bates

    Golden Plains Shire Council Robert Gibson

    Hume City Council Stephen Curwood

    Knox City Council Bronwyn Cron, John Erwin

    Loddon Shire Council Trevor Barker

    Melton Shire Council Rodney Thomas, Tony Herwerth, Dennis Everard

    Mildura Rural City Council Melanie Tschujasehencko

    Mornington Peninsula Shire Council - Garrique Pergl, Joanne Lynch

    Nillumbik Shire Council Narelle Liepa

    Strathbogie Shire Council Heather Bradbury

    Swan Hill Rural City Council Sue Mahon

    Towong Shire Council Adam Dyde, Lyn Coulston

    Wangaratta Rural City Council Karen Jones

    Wellington Shire Council Annie Lamb

    Yarra Ranges Shire Council Simon Denby

    The MAV would also like to thank Baw Baw Shire Council, Campaspe Shire Council, Hume City Council, Wangaratta Rural City Council and Wellington Shire Council for providing the photographs used in this report.


    The views expressed in this document are those of the MAV only. The document does not seek to represent the views of individual councils, council staff or any other person.

    This publication may be of assistance to you but the MAV and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purpose and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.


    1. Executive Summary 4 2. Introduction 5 3. Roles and Responsibilities for Weed Management in Victoria 6

     3.1 Legislation Governing Weed Management in Victoria 3.2 Local Government‘s Role in Weed Management 3.3 Roles and Responsibilities of Other Land Managers

    Current Level of Weed Management Activity in Victorian Councils 4. 9 4.1 Priority Status of Weed Management in Victorian Local Governments 4.2 Weed Management Strategies 4.3 Weed Management and Local Laws Common Issues for Local Government in Weed Management 5. 11 5.1 Roles and Responsibilities 5.2 Consultation with the Sector 5.3 Drivers for Local Government Involvement 5.4 External Funding Programs 5.5 Partnership Approaches 14 6. 5.6

    State Government Resourcing and Priorities 7. 15 5.7 Data Sharing

     5.8 Willingness to Share Experiences

     A Way Forward

    Case Studies

    99 8. Weed Strategies and Action Plans

    Partnership Approaches

    Incentive Programs

    Community and Council Capacity Building

    Local Laws

    Roadside Management







    Declared Noxious Weeds




     undertake weed management programs. This is Across Victoria local government is actively involved in

    influenced by, but not limited to, the economic and weed management as a land manager, community

    technical resources at the disposal of each council, as leader and educator, priority setter, program

    well as council and community attitudes to the problem. coordinator and advocate. However, there are varying

     levels of awareness and capacity within local

    In addition to detailing weed management activity government to undertake these activities. A lack of

    levels of local government, this report presents a range opportunities for information sharing between

    of case studies to help raise the awareness and in turn municipalities has been identified as one barrier to

    opportunities for Victorian local government to improvement in weed management performance across

    participate in weed management activities. The case the state.

    studies focus on a range of initiatives from the development and delivery of strategies and plans to The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has

    guide council actions, through to incentive programs for undertaken this study with funding from the Victorian

    the community, partnership approaches, mapping Government, to revise and record change in local

    programs and local laws. The case studies focus on government circumstances and approaches to weed

    processes for successful project development and management over the past three years, and to increase

    delivery, exploring issues such as drivers, risk information sharing opportunities across the sector. The

    management, resourcing, implementation, monitoring project has a statewide focus, detailing local

    and review and future directions. Importantly the case government activities in weed management across

    studies also outline a number of steps to guide program metropolitan, regional and rural areas.

    development in other municipalities.

     This study has found there is growing consideration of

    It is anticipated this report will encourage information weed management as a high priority issue across

    sharing not only between councils but with other land Victorian local government with a marked increase in

    managers across the state. This better places the sector the number of councils adopting strategies and local

    to undertake weed management in line with the laws to progress weed management. Over the past

    overarching strategies, and assist with the development three years the number of councils that consider weed

    of effective management programs and policies in the management a high priority issue for their organisation

    future. has grown from 46% in 2002 to 57% in 2005, with the most significant rise occurring in rural Victoria. Likewise the number of councils with a weed management strategy has increased, more than doubling from 20% in 2002 to 42% in 2005. A further nine councils are currently developing a weed strategy, meaning that over half of all Victorian councils will have a weed management strategy in place in the near future. Roughly one-third of all councils have a local law that gives consideration to weed

    management, an increase of 14% since 2002.

    While councils are becoming more involved in weed management there are still a number of barriers affecting the ability of local government to participate in weed management activities across the state. Various factors determine the capacity of local government to


     Weeds are among the most serious threats to Australia's understanding of the drivers, constraints and institutional

     (DEH, natural environment and primary productionarrangements influencing local government participation 2005). They can alter ecosystem function, contribute in weed management.

    significantly to land degradation, increase the risk of

    fire, reduce amenity and increase infrastructure This work has shown that councils have varying levels maintenance costs. Each year weeds cost Australia of awareness and capacity to contribute to effective $3.9 billion in lost farm production and higher food weed management. Various factors determine the costs (Sinden et al. 2004). Additionally some weeds capacity of local government to undertake weed can have serious effects on human health, while others management programs. This is influenced by, but not pose safety risks along roadsides or waterways. limited to, the economic and technical resources at the

    disposal of each council, as well as council and

    The responsibility for the management of weeds across community attitudes to the problem.

    Australia rests primarily with individual landholders,

    however all tiers of government have a role to play in This report builds on the MAV‘s 2003 report, Local

    their control. It is estimated that Commonwealth, State Government and Weed Management: programs, and local governments spend at least $116.4 million . In addition to resources and management approaches

    on weed management and control, monitoring and providing current figures on local government weed research each year. These figures are conservative as management activity, this updated report also contains they do not take into account the resource provided by 19 case studies demonstrating innovation and best volunteers who are actively involved in weed practice weed management by Victorian local management (Sinden et al. 2004). government. The case studies focus on a range of

    initiatives from the development and delivery of

    In Victoria local government has broad powers in strategies and plans to guide council actions, through to environmental management and more specifically in incentive programs for the community, partnership weed management (see Chapter 3). Across the state approaches, mapping programs and local laws. The local government is actively involved in weed case studies detail processes for effective project management, as a public land manager, community development and delivery, exploring issues such as leader and educator, program coordinator and drivers, risk management, resourcing, implementation, advocate. monitoring and review and future directions. Importantly

    the case studies also outline a number of steps to guide

    The vital role the sector plays in weed management is program development in other municipalities. acknowledged in various government strategies at a

    national, statewide and regional level. The National

    Weeds Strategy, Victorian Pest Management

    , Victorian Weed Management Strategy and Framework

    Regional Weed Action Plans list local government as

    an important stakeholder in the effective management of

    weeds. Local government also has legislated

    responsibilities under the Catchment and Land

     1994 (CaLP Act) and the Crown Land Protection Act

     1978, Land Act 1958 and the Flora and (Reserves) Act

     1988. Fauna Guarantee Act

The MAV, as the peak body for local government in

    Victoria, has undertaken this study to establish an


    Apart from actively controlling weeds on council owned 3.1 Legislation Governing Weed

    and managed land, local government can participate Management in Victoria indirectly in the control of weeds in a number of ways. The principal legislation relating to the management of These include: weeds in Victoria is the Catchment and Land Protection 1994 (CaLP Act), administered by DSE. This Act ActStrategy Development provides for the declaration of plants as noxious weeds Councils can develop and implement a range of if they are, or have the potential to become, a threat to strategic policies and action plans to progress primary production, the environment or community biodiversity and weed management within their health in Victoria. This legislation places responsibility municipality. These documents often set out roles and on land managers to control and prevent the spread of responsibilities for all land managers within the noxious weeds from their properties. The Act authorises municipality; provide councils with a framework for the inspection of properties for noxious weeds and prioritised action within the local area; a tool to help provides for controls on the movement of machinery and guide investment; and identification of opportunities for the sale of livestock and farm produce that may contain more coordinated management efforts between all seeds of noxious weeds. It also provides for restrictions landholders. They often give consideration to the range on the sale of noxious weeds and their seeds (see of national, state and regional policy and legislation Appendix 8.3). that govern weed management.

While the CaLP Act is the principal legislation numerous Community Education Programs

    other Victorian Acts also relate to weed management in Local government can play an important role in

    educating local communities about weed management. this state. For example, at least nine Acts make

    provision for the management of weeds along This can be through the provision of extension services roadsides including the Forests Act 1958, Transport Act to landholders, the development and circulation of 1983 and the Country Fire Authority Act 1958. Other weed identification and control booklets or holding

    information sessions or field days. relevant legislation affecting weed control includes the

     National Parks Act 1975, Flora and Fauna Guarantee Provision of Incentive Programs 1988, Conservation, Forest and Lands Act 1987, ActLocal government can provide incentives and render Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 and the Land Act rate relief for improved local weed management. This 1958. In addition, the Local Government Act 1989 often takes the form of a sustainable land management and the Planning and Environment Act 1987 provide rate rebate program or community grants program. opportunities for local government to enforce weed control (State of Victoria, 2002). Local Laws to Progress Weed Management

    The Local Government Act 1989 gives councils the 3.2 Local Government‘s Role in Weed

    power to pass local laws concerning weed control Management within their municipalities. These laws cannot duplicate As a land manager local government has responsibility or be inconsistent with existing legislation, such as the to control weeds on land it owns or manages, as CaLP Act. outlined in the CaLP Act. Other acts that outline local government‘s land and biodiversity management Appropriate Planning and Development responsibilities are: Local government can exercise some degree of control Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 over weed removal on a specific site or in a Land Act 1958 revegetation schedule under the Planning and

     Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 1987. However, councils have stated Environment Act

     Environment Protection and Biodiversity it is often difficult to enforce planning controls as they

     1999 Conservation Actare only applicable when development begins.


    Reducing the Spread of Weeds through Waste prevention, management and control of weeds to Management governments throughout Australia);

    Local government can help to reduce the spread of ;;Key industry groups such as the Victorian Farmers‘

    weeds in their municipalities by screening or Federation (VFF), Nursery and Garden Industry composting green waste before mulching. This can help Association of Victoria (NGIAV) and conservation prevent the spread of vegetative propagators such as groups;

    ivy. ;;Private landholders (including companies,

    corporations and landcare groups);

    Roadside Weed Management ;;Government institutes, eg Cooperative Research Appropriate management of roadside weeds can help Centres (CRCs).

    prevent spread across a municipality and region. Local

    government‘s role in roadside weed management Department of Sustainability and Environment varies depending on interpretation of the CaLP Act The Department of Sustainability and Environment has 1994. The April 2006 update of the Department of policy interpretation and legislative responsibility for Primary Industries‘ Landcare Note LC0252c states that weed management in Victoria. The Department responsibility for the control of roadside weeds under coordinates the implementation of the Government‘s

    the CaLP Act is determined by the category of weed weed management programs across the state. These and the class of road. For most weeds the responsibility programs are delivered through the direct management for weed management lies with adjoining landholder of public lands and through the provision of behavioural (DPI, 2006). However, recent interpretations of this Act change programs (extension advice and incentives) for see a much wider responsibility for the local private land programs (delivered by DPI). The Pest government sector in roadside weed management. Management Coordinating Committee has been This confusion needs to be addressed as a matter of established under the Victorian Pest Management priority to ensure consistent and appropriate roadside Framework (NRE 2002) to co-ordinate DSE‘s approach

    weed management occurs across the state. to pest management.

In spite of the confusion many councils are involved in a Department of Primary Industries

    range of roadside weed management programs. The Department of Primary Industries is responsible for Council involvement in roadside weed management is delivering cost-effective advisory, educational and influenced by capacity, and the expectations and regulatory services in sustainable land and water needs of the local community. management and agricultural industry development.

As the above activities are not legislated responsibilities Public Land Managers

    for local government, involvement is influenced by a DSE land management Divisions (covering parks, forests number of factors including available resources within and other crown lands) are responsible for the council, council understanding of the issue and management of most public land in Victoria. The identified community need. management of national parks is directed through Parks

    Victoria. The Biodiversity and Natural Resources 3.3 Roles and Responsibilities of Other Division (DSE) has a role in providing strategic policy Land Managers direction on biodiversity issues and influencing public There are a range of government and community land management. The Land and Catchments Division organisations that have a role in weed management in has a key role in the development and co-ordination of Victoria. These include: delivery of the Victorian Pest Management Framework State Government: DSE/DPI, Parks Victoria; and weed and pests issues generally.

     Victorian Catchment Management Council (VCMC)

    and Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs); Public land management is carried out in accordance ;;Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed with relevant legislation and policy frameworks. Where

    Management (Weeds CRC); weed management on public land primarily benefits the ;;Federal Government the through Department of land itself, such as biodiversity conservation and the Environment and Heritage Australia (DEH), protection of the natural resource base, management is Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the core responsibility of the relevant public land (DAFF) and the Australian Quarantine and manager.

    Inspection Service (AQIS); ;;Australian Weeds Committee (the lead committee Where weed management is required on public land to

    providing policy advice on matters related to the protect adjoining private land, this management will


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