Roadside Weed and Pest Control Project

Council is one of 56 rural and regional councils across Victoria that received funding under the state government’s Roadside Weeds and Pests Management Program to assist in the management of ‘regionally prohibited’, ‘regionally controlled’ and 'restricted' weeds and pests on rural roadsides.

Council is responsible for the management of approximately 3,200 km of rural roads in its road network and is dedicated to managing weeds and pest infestations on rural roadsides. Our key focus is the commitment to early prevention and control of weed species. Rural roads provide an ideal pathway for invasive species to spread across the region threatening parks, forests and rural land asset values. 

Funding under the state government's Roadside Weeds and Pest Management Program is used for both on-ground works and for the development and implementation of the rural Roadside Pest and Weed Control Plan to benefit all community members, particularly property owners and private land managers with agricultural land bordered by rural roadsides. Our main objective is the effective and proactive management of invasive species across the shire and the region as a whole.

The community is able to report rural roadside weed and rabbit concerns directly to council either in person, by phone call or via this website.

For further information please refer to the Northern Grampians Shire Council 2020-2021 Roadside Weed and Pest Program(PDF, 570KB).

State prohibited weeds

These invasive plants either do not occur in Victoria but pose a significant threat if they invade, or are present, pose a serious threat and can reasonably be expected to be eradicated. If present, infestations of a State prohibited weed are relatively small.

They are to be eradicated from Victoria if possible or excluded from the State. The Victorian Government is responsible for their eradication, but under Section 70(1) of the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, it may direct landowners to prevent their growth and spread. 

Regionally prohibited weeds

Regionally prohibited weeds are not widely distributed in a region but are capable of spreading further. It is reasonable to expect that they can be eradicated from a region and they must be managed with that goal. Land owners, including public authorities responsible for crown land management, must take all reasonable steps to eradicate regionally prohibited weeds on their land.

Regionally controlled weeds

These invasive plants are usually widespread in a region. To prevent their spread, ongoing control measures are required. Land owners have the responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the growth and spread of Regionally controlled weeds on their land. 

Restricted weeds

This category includes plants that pose an unacceptable risk of spreading in this State and are a serious threat to another State or Territory of Australia. Trade in these weeds and their propagules, either as plants, seeds or contaminants in other materials is prohibited.

No spray

Landholders who do not want roadside spraying to occur along their properties please complete the online No Spray form to notify council of your preference. 

 No Spray form >>

Rabbit control

In Victoria, feral or wild populations of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are declared as established pest animals under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.

Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994land owners have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible eradicate, established pest animals from their land.

For more information on rabbit control in urban and semi-urban areas, please visit Integrated Rabbit Control.

Soldier Thistle Control Project 2020

Recently, a previously absent weed has been identified in the Northern Grampians Shire - the Soldier Thistle (Picnomon acarna). This weed is classified as a 'Regionally Prohibited' weed by the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA), and is a threat to existing natural and agricultural landscapes. 

Because of this, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and Agriculture Victoria have launched a control program focusing on the Soldier Thistle, with regional eradication the goal. In order to assist with this goal, Northern Grampians Shire Council has added the Soldier Thistle to the Roadside Weed and Pest Program as a target species. 

The target areas of the project are Marnoo, Swanwater and Gooroc. Landowners within the target areas have been notified by Agriculture Victoria and are encouraged to voluntarily comply with their legal obligations prior to Agriculture Victoria Officers undertaking an initial inspection.

Where it is identified on inspection that Soldier Thistle control is required, specific advice will be provided. Landowners within the target areas will receive further correspondence in the coming weeks indicating the intent of Agriculture Victoria Officers to undertake an inspection of the property. After receiving this notice, you may wish to contact Agriculture Victoria to arrange a time or date for this inspection that is mutually convenient.

Soldier Thistle  

For more information about the Soldier Thistle(PDF, 82KB), visit the Agriculture Victoria website, or contact us.

Wild Wheel Cactus in Regional Victoria

Wheel cactus is also known as Opuntia robusta and is native to Mexico. It is a highly invasive weed that is not classified as a Weed of National Significance. The weed produces viable seed, which can be spread in the droppings of birds, foxes and other animals over large distances. It has been noted that distribution can extend 5 kilometers a year. The plant reproduces by seed and also propagates from branch segments. Once established, individual wheel cactus plants can live for several decades. Landowners have a legal obligation to eradicate this invasive species from their land. Parks Victoria is currently carrying out control work across the state.

 A wide shot of thousands of wheel cactus on a mountain

 Photo Credit: ABC News (Kyle Harley)

For more information on Catcus Wheel, visit the Agriculture Victoria website, or contact us.

Reporting Roadside Weeds and Pests

In order to most efficiently utilise funding, council is collecting and mapping information input from contractors, individuals, landcare groups, community groups and ‘friends-of’ groups. Council encourages any individual or community group with local knowledge relating to weed and/or pest information to contact the council in order to stay informed of current and emerging weed and rabbit issues in the shire.

The Roadside Weeds and Rabbit Reporting Form is available online to report any occurrence of weeds or rabbits in rural areas throughout the shire.  

Roadside Weeds and Rabbit Reporting form >>