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A weed can be any plant that is a threat to agriculture, industry, the environment, human health or the community and has the potential to spread to other areas. Weeds smother native vegetation and affect the biodiversity of our natural areas. Weeds also reduce habitat for native fauna and choke waterways.

Information on how to identify and control weeds can be found at NSW WeedWise as well as Sydney Weeds Network. For fact sheets showing simple weed removal techniques visit Weed removal fact sheets.

In NSW all landholders have a general biosecurity duty under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk a weed may pose.

Weeds on Council land

Georges River Council is committed to protecting our natural areas by managing weeds. We do this through:

  • Coordinated weed control programs with staff, contractors and our Bushcare volunteer program.
  • Conducting weed inspections on public and private property.
  • Inspecting and controlling weeds in high risk pathways.
  • Providing education, training and resources on weed management.
  • Administering and ensuring compliance with the Biosecurity Act.

Council is following the objectives and strategies set out in the Greater Sydney Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan. Any weed identified as a priority weed under the Plan is a priority in weed in Georges River Council area.

Weeds that are not priority weeds are still managed by council but we concentrate our efforts on areas of high ecological value such as endangered ecological communities and volunteer Bushcare sites.

Weeds on a Neighbours property

The quickest and most effective way of dealing with weeds on your neighbours’ property is to talk to them and try and resolve any issues together.

If you can't resolve the issue with your neighbour amicably, contact the Community Justice Centre to arrange for mediation. Some weeds may be dealt with under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act including Bamboo and any plant that is a vine. You may wish to obtain independent legal advice if you believe a plant is creating a legal nuisance.

Council’s Biosecurity Officer will inspect any properties for priority weeds and contact landholders regarding control of any priority weeds.

What can you do?

  • Join a local Bushcare group and help care for our local Bushland areas.
  • Remove weeds from your own garden and choose plants that do not become weeds in Bushland. Local native plants are the best choice. You can check your choice of plant at Gardening Responsibly to see which plants have a low invasive risk. Grow Me Instead also has information on alternatives to weedy garden plants.
  • Contact us to report a priority weed, if you need help identifying a weed or need advice on weed control methods.

You can also contact the Department of Primary Industries via the NSW Invasive Plants and Animals Enquiry Line on 1800 680 244 or

Priority weeds that are being targeted for control in our LGA

  • Cat's Claw Creeper - Dolichandra unguis-cati

    Close up image of Alligator Weed that is green with white flowersDescription: woody vine with many stems that forms dense mats and climbs over shrubs and trees, trees. Tendrils are three-pronged and hooked, resembling a cat's claw. Roots are extensive and deep.

    Flowers: yellow often with orange lines inside the tube. Single or in small clusters in spring.

    Fruit/Seed: Seed pods are long and bean like. Green ripening to brown. The seeds are papery and winged.

    Dispersal: seeds are spread by wind and water. Tubers and stems can reproduce and may be spread by flood or machinery.

    For more information on Cat's Claw Creeper, visit NSW WeedWise.

  • Alligator Weed - Alternanthera philoxeroides

    Close up image of Alligator Weed that is green with white flowersDescription: floating or rooting emergent perennial herb with a brittle, fleshy taproot, forming large mats of interwoven roots and stems. 

    Flowers: silvery white flowers in January to March.

    Fruit/Seed: seeds produced but rarely viable in Australia.

    Dispersal: stems dispersed by water flow, dumping and machinery.

    For more information on Alligator weed, visit NSW WeedWise.

  • Ludwigia - Ludwigia peruviana

    Close up of a Ludwigia Weed that is green with a bright big yellow flowerDescription: a perennial shrub growing up to 3 meters high. It behaves as a deciduous plant and loses its’ leaves in Winter. The stems are hairy when young and the leaves are arranged alternately, are also hairy and have prominent veins.

    Flowers: single, bright yellow flowers, 2-4 cm across. They grow in the fork of upper leaves.

    Fruit/Seed: oblong hairless fruits 1-3.5cm long contain numerous tiny seeds. The fruits turn light brown.

    Dispersal: seeds spread by water, wind. Stems detach during floods.

    For more information on Ludwigia, visit NSW WeedWise.

  • Spanish Broom - Spartium junceum

    Close up image of a Drooping prickly pear Weed with thick prickly leavesDescription: A deciduous shrub that grows to 5m with leafless stems. Toxic to humans.

    Flowers: Yellow pea-like flowers with a sweet fragrance.

    Fruit/Seed: Flat green pods turning brown.

    Dispersal: Seeds spread by machinery and deliberate planting. Must not be sold or traded in Greater Sydney,

    For more information on Spanish Broom, visit NSW WeedWise.

  • Boneseed - Chrysanthemoides monilifera  ssp. monilifera 

    Close up image of a Boneseed Weed with green leaves and several yellow flowersDescription: shrub to 3m, an erect , upright plant with coarsely toothed leaves.

    Flowers: golden yellow, daisy flowers, appearing in spring to early summer.

    Fruit/Seed: purplish black berries, occurring in clusters and ripening in summer.

    Dispersal: Birds.

    For more information on Boneseed, visit NSW WeedWise.

  • Scotch Broom - Cytisus scoparius subsp. scoparius

    Close up image of a Salvinia Weed with green leaves and brown furry rootsDescription: Upright shrub with upper stems having five pronounced ridges. Leaves are softly hairy. Spanish Broom is toxic to humans.

    Flowers: Flowers are yellow and pea-like.

    Fruit/Seed: Brown to black seed pods with hairs on the margins.

    Dispersal: Machinery and contaminated soil. Seed can remain viable in the soil for many years. 

    For more information on Scotch Broom, visit NSW WeedWise.


  • Is Bamboo a priority weed?

    Bamboo is not currently a priority weed in Georges River Council and is not a priority weed listed in the Greater Sydney Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan. The Plan supports the implementation of the Biosecurity Act 2015 (which has replaced the Noxious Weeds Act). Removal of low priority weeds such as Bamboo will only be enforced by Georges River Council in areas of high ecological value such as Threatened Ecological Communities or Bushcare sites.

    If the bamboo has been planted on a neighbouring property, Council recommends discussing the matter directly with your neighbour where possible, seeking mediation and/or obtaining legal advice. Bamboo is included in the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 No 126 - NSW Legislation as outlined in Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Regulation 2019 - NSW Legislation (Section 4: Prescribed Plants).

    Seeking mediation - if your neighbour does not agree with your proposal, or you cannot agree on who is responsible for paying removal costs, you can seek mediation. Trained mediators can help neighbours achieve an outcome that is satisfactory to all parties. This service can be provided by the Community Justice Centres (
    The NSW Tree Disputes Act 2006 applies to trees, hedges and any other prescribed plants (including Bamboo) set out in the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Regulation 2019 that are located on private land. The Tree Disputes Act seeks to provide a clear system for the resolution of certain commonplace disputes about trees and hedges and other prescribed plants. You may wish to obtain independent legal advice if you believe the plant is creating a legal nuisance.

  • How do I control bamboo?

    If you are considering having bamboo on your property, first consider using other plants that will provide the same function but also provide better habitat for local wildlife. Plants native to Georges River will provide the best habitat for local animals.

    Before planting bamboo, think about whether you are being a good neighbour. Consider how tall the bamboo will grow and how close it will be to neighbouring properties. Running bamboo will spread by underground rhizomes and travel in all directions including into lawn, under fences and pathways. Clumping bamboo will still spread but will move out from the central clump forming a new ring of stems around the existing stems. Bamboos are extremely fast growing and will require regular maintenance and pruning. 

    If you still want to have bamboo on your property, it is best to contain it in pots or with a root barrier.

    Bamboo can be controlled mechanically by digging the base of the plant, rhizome (underground stem) and roots out of the ground and checking for regrowth regularly. For information on chemical control of bamboo see the  WeedWise recommendations. You can also contact Council's Biosecurity Officer for technical advice on controlling Bamboo.

  • Information about root barriers

    Bamboo root barriers are generally available from nurseries that specialise in Bamboo. 

    Before installing any barrier, all existing Bamboo between the proposed barrier and the property boundary must be completely eradicated either by physical removal or chemical control.

    Location of the root barrier

    • Barrier may be installed at a distance of 1000mm from the property boundary/ fence line or retaining wall of the property with the bamboo. This will enable adequate and regular inspections of the rhizome barrier and allow for any necessary maintenance as required, and without having to enter adjoining property. If this barrier is being installed on a property adjacent to an infestation to prevent further spread, the barrier should be installed as close as possible to the dividing fence.

    • During barrier installation, care should be taken to avoid damage to underground pipes and cables. Check the location of pipes  with Before You Dig Australia.

    • Barrier should divert around large trees to avoid root damage during installation.

    Construction of root barrier fencing

    Barrier fencing should be made from a material which will not rust, break or shatter in the long term. For example; reclaimed or recycled conveyor belt rubber or polycarbonate roofing with four corrugations overlapping at the seams sealed with a silicone adhesive or high density polystyrene or polyethylene plastic (40 mm or heavier) glued at junctions or clamped with stainless-steel clamps.

    Galvanised iron is not suitable because it will rust over time. No barrier will work in rocky ground.

    Depth of root barrier fencing

    • Where the soil is poor and the existing rhizome descends no more than 150mm, construct a barrier 600mm deep. 

    • Where the soil is free draining or kept moist, or where the rhizome descends more than 150mm, the barrier should descend to at least 1000mm depth.

    • Barrier should protrude 100mm above the ground to prevent rhizomes from growing over top.

    • For added benefit, the barrier should be installed sloping away at the top and towards the bamboo grove at the bottom, so that when the rhizomes hit the barrier they will bend upwards rather than down (a barrier does not stop a running rhizome, it only deflects it).

    • Where extra support is required, the barrier should be securely tied to star pickets installed into the ground to at least 200mm below the barrier, and at maximum intervals of 1.5

    There must be no gaps in the barrier otherwise it will be ineffective.

    The barrier must extend the whole length of the bamboo infestation.

    • If the barrier is not continuous, it should join with an existing structure that will prevent the bamboo spreading e.g. masonry wall with deep footing, and must be material that is a least as deep as the rhizome barrier and not prone to degrading e.g. concrete.

    • Where the rhizome barrier ends at a wall it should be returned around the corner and along the wall, at least for 350mm so that the rhizome is forced to grow back into the bamboo itself. The barrier should be secured hard up against the wall (using adhesives and hardware such as masonry nails or DynaboltsTM) so that the rhizome cannot grow outside the barrier.

    • Retaining walls should be installed where steep banks cannot support the barrier in the long term.

    ​Maintenance of root barriers

    The top of the barrier should be checked every 6 months to:

    • Cut off and remove any rhizomes that are growing over top.

    • Remove any build-up of leaves and debris. Bamboo sheds many leaves forming a dense leaf mulch layer on the ground that makes it more difficult to properly inspect the barrier for rhizomes growing over the top or underneath.

    • Repair any defects or damage to the barrier including re-installing any loose star pickets.

    Use of reinforced concrete

    • Dig a trench 1200mm deep and 150mm wide with small backhoe or other trench digging machine.

    • Fill the trench with reinforced concrete.

    Escape proof planters made from fibre reinforced cement

    Different sized cylindrical planters are available according to desired height of the plant.

    • The minimum diameter is 450 mm as smaller than 450mm may force the rhizome deeper than 1m in the ground.

    • Depth of the planter must be at least 1000mm underground.

    • Set the top of planter at least 50mm above ground.

    • Keep soil level 50 - 75mm below the top of the planter to expose any rhizome that jumps the top of the planter.

    • Inspect and cut off all rhizomes that grow over the side of the planter on a regular basis.

    Bamboo plants contained in pots

    Bamboo may be grown in a pot if it is placed on a hard surface (eg. non-cracking concrete), off the ground, or on a large saucer underneath the pot, to prevent spread of rhizomes.

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