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. 

Find out about declared weeds.

Read the Weeds Management Act.

Owners and occupiers of land

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. 

All people

You must not do any of the following:

  • bring a declared weed into the NT
  • propagate 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 plan for grader grass

The NT Government has released a weed management plan for grader grass (Themeda quadrivalvis). 

The plan sets out the requirements for grader grass management which must now be adhered to by all people. 

This plan will increase awareness of the risks posed by grader grass and help with the management of the weed.

Weed management plans

Weed management plans are legal documents that explain what you must do to manage certain high priority weeds.

There are weed management plans for all of the following:  

It is an offence not to comply with a weed management plan. 

Weed management officers

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 follow 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: 27 June 2017