Weeds and the law

You must comply with the law concerning weeds in the Northern Territory (NT).

The relevant law is the Weeds Management Act 2001.

To read the compliance policy, go to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Find out about more about weeds.


The act makes it clear that weed management is the responsibility of the owner and occupier of land.

If you own, manage or live on land you must:

  • take reasonable measures to prevent the land becoming infested with a declared weed
  • take reasonable measures to prevent a declared weed spreading to other land
  • follow a statutory weed management plan for any weeds on your land.

You must not do any of the following:

  • bring a declared weed into the NT
  • spread or scatter a declared weed
  • sell, purchase, or offer to sell or purchase a declared weed
  • hire any equipment or other item that contains or carries a declared weed
  • store, grow or use a declared weed
  • transport or carry a declared weed
  • cut declared weeds for fodder or mulch
  • move or drive an animal or vehicle on a road or to another person's land if you know it contains or carries a declared weed
  • fail to comply with a quarantine notice regarding weeds.

Weed permits

Some activities such as using, transporting or growing a declared weed may be allowed under a permit.

Find out how to apply for a weed permit.

Weed management officers have powers under law to enter your land and do all of the following:

  • search
  • inspect
  • take samples
  • order treatment to control weeds.

They may also:

  • stop a vehicle or animal
  • order the cleaning of a contaminated vehicle, animal or thing
  • order the destruction of fodder, plants or other things if not cleaned satisfactorily.

Orders from a weed management officer may be given verbally but must be followed up in writing.

It is an offence to stop an officer from doing their job or to not follow orders they give you.

Last updated: 13 November 2019

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