Priority Weeds

Weeds are among the most serious threats to Australia's natural environment and primary production industries. They displace native species, contribute significantly to land degradation and reduce farm and forest productivity.

Managing weeds is a shared responsibility between industry, government and the community. In NSW, we operate under the Biosecurity Act 2015, with Forbes Shire Council delegated as the Local Control Authority.

For further information contact Council's Biosecurity Officer on 02 6850 2300.

What is a Priority Weed 

The Central West Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017-2022 has been developed to recognise priority weeds that are considered to have a significant ability to affect health, economy, agriculture and the environment. These priority weeds have a legal obligation to be controlled under the Biosecurity Act 2015. Common priority weeds in our shire include the following;


African Boxthorn 

African boxthorn is a very thorny scrub that grows up to 5 m high and 3 m across. Grown close together it forms a spiky wall that you cannot get through.



Blackberry is a prickly scrambling shrub with dark coloured berries. It forms thickets and is one of Australia’s worst weeds.

 Blue Heliotrope

Blue Heliotrope

Blue heliotrope is a summer-growing perennial herb. It is extremely drought-hardy, which makes it a major agricultural weed in NSW.

 Bridal creeper

Bridal Creeper

Bridal creeper is a garden plant with climbing stems. It is now a major weed of bushland where it smothers native plants. It is Weed of National Significance.

 Cats claw creeper

Cats Claw Creeper

Cat's claw creeper is a woody vine that invades forests and riparian zones, killing trees and understorey plants. It is a Weed of National Significance.


Coolatai Grass

Coolatai grass is a summer growing perennial. It is widespread in northern NSW, in recent years has spread to southern areas.

 Green cestrum

Green Cestrum

Green cestrum is a large shrub with shiny leaves, clusters of yellow flowers and shiny, black berries. It is highly poisonous to cattle and can kill both animals and humans.

 Prickly pear

Prickly Pear

Also known as: common prickly pear, prickly pear, common pest pear.

 Silver leaf nightshade

Silver leaf nightshade

Silverleaf nightshade grows in summer. It grows in dense colonies and is very difficult to control.

 Spiny burr grass

Spiny burr grass

Spiny burrgrass is a summer-growing grass. It can spread rapidly to develop large infestations.

Click here to view other priority weeds in the Central West region.

Council Obligation

Forbes Shire Council’s Biosecurity Officers primary function is to report and map priority weeds to the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) database. This is achieved through regular inspections of both public and private land, as well as high risk areas. Authorised Officers act under the Biosecurity Act 2015 and receive their powers to inspect privately owned lands from Part 8, Section 98 ‘Powers of Authority ’. Our other main function is to control priority weeds on council managed lands.

Our aims

Protect biodiversity by controlling priority weeds and raising awareness of the impact of weeds on bushland, creek lines, and roadside reserves. This is achieved through communication between Council’s Biosecurity Officers and landholders, and through education about weeds and effective control techniques.

Monitor the spread of priority weeds and report new incursions within the shire.


Individual Obligation

We encourage residents to inspect their properties on a regular basis and report any suspected priority weeds. Council’s Biosecurity Officers also conduct routine inspections of private lands to ensure owners/ occupiers carry out their obligations to manage the biosecurity risk.

Weed control on private property is the responsibility of the land owner/ occupier. If you need assistance identifying a weed, advice on control techniques or simply would like Council to conduct an inspection, please contact us on the details below.

The Biosecurity Act 2015, Part 3 Section 22 outlines a General Biosecurity Duty  stating “any person who deals with biosecurity matter or a carrier and who knows, or ought reasonably to know, the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by the biosecurity matter, carrier or dealing has a biosecurity duty to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the biosecurity risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised.”

Contacts and Links

Local Land Services
46 Sherriff Street
Forbes NSW 2871
Telephone: 02 6850 1600

Central West Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017-2022 

Department Primary Industries Biosecurity Department
Locked Bay 21
Orange NSW 2800
Telephone: 1800 680 244

Weed Control Handbook 

Priority Weeds for the Central West 

Forbes Shire Council Biosecurity Team
2 Court Street
Forbes NSW 2871
Telephone: 02 6850 2300