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The NSW State Government has made some changes to the Noxious Weeds Act.

For the Cootamundra Shire, these changes include:

1. A change in the definition of a Class 4 Noxious Weed, which now reads

"The growth of the plant must be managed in such a manner that reduces its numbers spread and incidence and continuously inhibits its reproduction (and the plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed).

2. Class 4 Weed Management Plans are now to be used as a guideline for land owners on controlling these noxious weeds.

3.  Additions to the Noxious Weeds list include:

Class 1 - Heteranthera, Hydrocotyle and Kosters curse

Class 2 - Black willow, Boneseed, Cape broom, Mesquite, Parkinsonia

Class 4 - East Indian Hygophilia - (changed from Class 1)

 4. An updated list of non-saleable weeds is also available from Council and will be distributed to retail outlets.

Council has received advice from the Department of Primary Industries that Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum) has been declared a Class 2 Noxious Weed across the Riverina. This C2 classification means the plant must be eradicated from the land and the land must be kept free of the plant. As Tropical soda apple is found on properties located on the North Coast of NSW, farmers who have had any cattle come in from this area should check their stock yards and holding paddocks for the weed and seek advice on its eradication.

Cootamundra Shire Council is a member of both Eastern Riverina Noxious Weeds Advisory Group (ERNWAG) and Lachlan Valley Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee LVNWAC) are the leading committees for weed management in the Riverina region including the catchments of the Murray, Murrumbidgee, Lower Murray Darling and Lachlan.

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FIREWEED (Senecio madagascariensis)

The Cootamundra Shire Council is joining with other Councils to make Fireweed as a Class 3 Noxious Weed in the eastern Riverina region.

Fireweed is a highly invasive and opportunistic weed which quickly colonises overgrazed pastures and disturbed areas.

Fireweed is a serious pasture weed of coastal New South Wales and is now invading inland areas, including the South West Slopes.

Regionally, Fireweed has been found in the Gundagai, Wagga and Yass areas, often along the Hume Highway.

Identification

Fireweed is a daisy-like plant that grows from 10 to 60 cm high. It has a variable growth habit and leaf structure, but the most common form of fireweed is a low, heavily branched, annual or short lived perennial plant.

Leaves

Generally bright green in colour, fleshy and narrow, leaves are 2-7 cm long, alternately arranged on the stem, and have serrated, entire or lobed margins. Broader leaves usually clasp around the stem.

Flowers

Small, yellow and daisy-like, flowers are 1-2 cm in diameter and arranged in clusters at the end of each branch. They can number from 0 to 200 per plant, and each flower will commonly have 13 petals and 21 bracts forming the 'cup' under the flower.

Roots

Fireweed has a shallow, branched taproot with numerous fibrous roots growing from 10 to 20 cm deep.

LAND OWNERS ARE ASKED TO REMAIN VIGILANT AND SEEK ADVICE FROM COUNCIL'S NOXIOUS WEED INSPECTORS OR LOCAL AGRONOMISTS IF ANY SUSPECTED PLANTS ARE FOUND