Guilty for failing to treat weeds on time

A Kilmore landowner pleaded guilty in the Seymour Magistrates Court in November to a charge of failing to comply with a Land Management Notice to control serrated tussock on his property.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Biosecurity Officer Kate Cunnew said the landowner was ordered to pay a $2000 fine for failing to treat the serrated tussock within the time frame specified on the notice.

“Serrated tussock is a regionally prohibited weed in the Goulburn Broken catchment and the landowner was issued with a Land Management Notice as part of the ongoing program to eradicate this weed from the catchment,” Ms Cunnew said.

“The program involves 26 private properties that are known to be infested with serrated tussock.

“DPI Biosecurity officers inspect these properties every year and where necessary issue a notice to undertake treatment works. Of the 26 private landowners involved only one failed to comply in a timely manner.

“Although the landowner did treat the serrated tussock, the work was done after the notice had expired and lack of timely control by one landholder could compromise the efforts and investment made by the rest of the community if plants were allowed to produce seed.”

Magistrate Duncan Reynolds reminded the defendant that regardless of whether the department had issued a notice or not, landowners had a responsibility to control weeds on their properties in a timely manner.

Ms Cunnew said enforcement action was required when landowners failed to comply with their legal responsibilities.

“DPI will continue to support coordinated community efforts by enforcing action on priority invasive species such as serrated tussock.

“Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 landowners are required to take reasonable steps to eradicate regionally prohibited weeds from their land.

“Landowners need to be aware that failure to comply with a Land Management Notice to eradicate serrated tussock could result in fines of up to $29,000.”

For more information please contact DPI on 136 186 or visit the website at www.dpi.vic.gov.au/weeds.

Source: Victorian Department of Primary Industries 

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