Environmental & Noxious Weeds


Environmental and noxious weeds are a major threat to our natural environment and biodiversity.

They also impact agricultural production and can damage recreational, tourism and cultural values.

Environmental and noxious weeds – what’s the difference?

Environmental weeds are plants that invade native vegetation and impact on the survival of indigenous plants and animals. Some environmental weeds, like Blackberry, are also declared noxious weeds.

Noxious weeds are plants which are listed under the state government’s Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CaLP Act).  These plants cause, or have the potential to cause, environmental or economic harm. Under this act, landowners have a legal obligation to manage declared noxious weeds on their land. The state government is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the CALP Act.

If you are concerned about a declared noxious weed on private property, contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or visit the Agriculture Victoria website for more information.

Why control weeds?

Weeds can:

  • Smother indigenous vegetation
  • Prevent regeneration of indigenous plants
  • Reduce habitat and displace native fauna
  • Harbour pest animals such as rabbits and foxes
  • Choke waterways, increasing flooding and reducing water quality
  • Increase fire risk.
  • Alter water and nutrient cycles.

How to reduce weeds

  • Know your end goal.
  • Correctly identify plants to avoid removing indigenous species.
  • Select a control method that is suitable for the species and the situation.
  • Timing is everything! Aim to control plants before they flower and set seed.
  • Minimise soil disturbance to avoid potential weed spread and erosion.
  • Target isolated weeds first, working towards larger infestations.
  • Weeds can be habitat too. Many small birds, like Superb Fairy-wrens and Eastern Spinebills, use weedy shrubs for shelter and nesting. Weed small patches at a time to minimise impact and replace with indigenous species to supplement habitat.
  • Consider creating a wildlife friendly garden using local native plants suited to your area. To help you select local native plants that are suitable for your region, the Shire has developed a series of regional revegetation guides, that can be found on the Revegetation Plant Guides page.
  • Follow up is essential for effective weed control.
  • Dispose of weeds appropriately – never dump garden waste over the back fence, in bushland or waterways.

The removal of some weeds may require a planning permit. For more information see our page on tree and vegetation removal.

Environmental weed management educational videos

Many people in our community work to control environmental weeds in bushland areas – either on their own property or as part of a Friends or Ladncare group. This can be a challenging task, and it can be hard to know where to put your efforts.

To help, Dr Graeme Lorimer has produced two educational videos on environmental weed management. These videos are a great resource for those wanting to learn more about how to approach this important activity.

 Environmental Weed Management - Part 1 - Ecological Insights (22 minutes): in this video Dr Lorimer introduces the topic of environmental weed management, explains key terms, and discusses basic ecological principles.



Environmental Weed Management - Part 2 -Setting Priorities (13 minutes): using the knowledge gained in Part 1, in this video Dr Lorimer steps you through how to set priorities for environmental weed control.

How the Shire controls weed on public land

Weed control is a community priority for environmental and economic reasons. Our weed management and control work are planned and carried out in line with feedback from our community.

Weeds are controlled to meet statutory requirements, improve open space aesthetics, protect biodiversity, provide consistent playing surfaces, protect productive land, keep clear lines of sight along roads, protect infrastructure from damage and free of obstruction.

Weeds are controlled in Shire-managed bushland reserves, passive recreation reserves, formal parks, garden beds, on roads, road reserves and shared pathways, sporting reserves, along curb and channel, on and near buildings.

We are committed to identify optimal combinations of pest and weed control methods for long term sustainability with the aim of preventing problems from occurring. Various methods are used including hand weeding in garden beds and bushland; motorised weeding for road shoulders and near creek crossings; reduced weed control in public areas around sports grounds; gas burner weeding in bushland reserves; steam weeding at The Briars; and where necessary and under strict controls we use herbicide.

Mornington Peninsula Shire takes all health and safety matters very seriously and is guided by Worksafe Victoria and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) on the use of herbicides. APVMA regulates the use of herbicides in Australia and considers all relevant scientific material when determining the likely impacts on human health and worker safety including long and short-term exposure to users. When used under strict health and safety measures, following the manufacturers’ instructions and applied by properly trained and experienced staff, herbicides are a safe and cost-effective method.

With support from our fantastic Friends Group volunteers and by implementing alternative methods, we are working to minimise the use of herbicides where practical.  We will continue to research alternative organic weed killers and trial new products including plant-based acids and oils to reduce the use of herbicides.


Further information

Download our Mornington Peninsula Environmental and Noxious Weeds Guide(PDF, 2MB) which includes photos, descriptions and control methods for more than 70 weeds. For advice on plant identification and weed control contact our Natural Systems team on 1300 850 600.

You can also download the Indigenous plants and problem weeds of the Nepean Peninsula(PDF, 8MB) guide for information on the native plants and environmental weeds specific to this area.